Casting anyone other than Harrison Ford in the role of Han Solo just feels like sacrilege, but since Ford is now 76 years old, playing a younger version of himself would be all but impossible. Or at least impossible if you rely on the standard Hollywood de-ageing tricks like makeup and CG. Artificial intelligence, it turns out, does a pretty amazing job at putting Ford back into the role of Solo.
The YouTube channel “derpfakes” has been posting videos that demonstrate the impressive, and at times frightening, capabilities of image processing using artificial intelligence. Using a process called deep learning, an AI analyses a large collection of photos of a given person, creating a comprehensive database of them in any almost any position and pose. It then uses that database to intelligently perform an automatic face replacement on a source clip, in this case replacing actor Alden Ehrenreich’s face with Harrison Ford’s.
As we’ve seen before, like when deep learning was used to erase actor Henry Cavill’s Justice League mustache, the results are not only good, they’re actually better than the visual trickery that Hollywood visual effects studios are capable of.