Tom Hanks’s uncannily real AI de-aging in new movie from Robert Zemeckis

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The portrayal of a young Tom Hanks in the upcoming film Here is astoundingly lifelike.

Tom Hanks's appearance has been de-aged using AI in the new movie 'Here'.
Tom Hanks’s appearance has been de-aged using AI in the new movie ‘Here’. Image credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment (YouTube video screenshot)

Director Robert Zemeckis, known for his innovative use of technology in films like Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Back to the Future, and The Polar Express, is once again pushing the boundaries of visual effects. His latest venture explores the potential of generative AI to achieve what was previously unthinkable.

Here employs a variety of techniques to chronicle the lives of a couple, portrayed by 67-year-old Tom Hanks and 58-year-old Robin Wright. While traditional makeup effects are utilized for some scenes, the most striking flashbacks feature AI de-aging that looks astonishingly real.

The film also serves as a Forrest Gump reunion, with Eric Roth co-writing the script. Based on Richard McGuire’s 2014 graphic novel, the story unfolds entirely in one location, akin to a traditional play.

Achieving believable de-aging and avoiding the uncanny valley is notoriously difficult, particularly for well-known actors like Hanks, whose youthful appearance in films like The Money Pit and Big is familiar to many.

For example, Martin Scorsese’s use of AI de-aging in The Irishman faced criticism for its lack of realism, making the success of Here highly anticipated. Zemeckis has emphasized the importance of matching the actors’ deliveries and voices to their characters’ ages to enhance authenticity.

Written by Alius Noreika

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