If you’ve been nervous about AI replacing photography, the new Indiana Jones 5 will positively wreck your day.
The upcoming fifth installment in the Indiana Jones franchise will feature a de-aged Harrison Ford during the first 25 minutes of the film through the use of AI visual rendering.
The movie, titled Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny will use an AI processing technology called FRAN, which was designed as a proprietary Disney system. In case you’re wondering, FRAN stands for Face Re-aging Network.
The engineering team behind the FRAN system has emphasized that in order for their AI system to work with real actors (or people in general), there are some conditions.
Most importantly, actual images of the actors from when they were younger have to exist with similar poses and lighting as the modern de-aged takes.
This is a major obstacle, but fortunately, abundant footage of Harrison Ford from his first three youthful Indiana Jones movies exists and was used.
Despite this, the now 79-year-old actor still had to re-enact the same scenes and postures in his present age with dots across his face to aid the FRAN AI.
If you think that it might be difficult to make a 79-year-old actor play out the agile movements of his mid-30s version, you’re forgetting that this is Harrison Ford we’re talking about.
As James Mangold, director of the fifth Indie movie explained to Total Film, “Harrison Ford can still deliver, I just shot him, and he just pretended that he was 35,”
The director praised his “incredibly gifted and agile” action movie icon. He also added,
“The technology involved is a whole other thing. We had hundreds of hours of footage of him in close-ups, in mediums, in wides, in every kind of lighting, night and day. I could shoot Harrison on a Monday as, you know, a 79-year-old playing a 35-year-old, and I could see dailies by Wednesday with his head already replaced.”
In other words, AI is making a major splash in a major movie with a major actor right now, and it’s surely here to stay if it can be used so effectively in a film of this Hollywood caliber.
The fifth Indiana Jones movie opens with a scene set in 1944, roughly 12 years after the time frame of the fourth (and widely panned) Indianan Jones flick, “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”.
After about 25 minutes of a younger Indie, the rest of the Dial of Destiny takes place in 1969. Let’s just hope it doesn’t include anything as absurd as the infamous refrigerator scene from its predecessor.