What: A deepfake critique of the de-aging tech in The Irishman.
Who: YouTube master deepfaker iFake.
Why we care: A lot of the criticism around Martin Scorsese’s moribund gangster epic, The Irishman, has been about its length. The merciless three-and-a-half hour runtime has tested phone-addled home viewers’ patience, leading many to abandon ship and tweet their dissatisfaction. The debate around whether Scorsese needed all that breathing room to tell his story won’t be settled for years, until the cinematic intelligentsia have time to digest it and assess from a distance.
As for the criticism around Scorsese’s much-discussed de-aging technology, which makes Robert De Niro look like a nearly pixelated flesh-gargoyle, well, that is entirely merited. It’s bad, y’all. Distractingly so. And as one YouTuber has just proved, it didn’t have to be this way.
Although Scorsese reportedly spent millions trying to bridge the uncanny valley of flesh-decades on the faces of De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci, a deepfake expert who goes by iFake managed to get more believable results using free software that de-aged the de-aged actors a few years more.
It’s enough to make you wonder whether outspoken big-screen advocate Scorsese spent all that money in an effort to try to bankrupt Netflix from the inside.
Have a look at the startling difference in the video below.