Robert Zemeckis: I Love Using the Computer to Make Tom Hanks Look Insane

The duo are reuniting for a new movie using de-aging technology

HOLLYWOOD - NOVEMBER 7:  Director/producer Robert Zemeckis and actor Tom Hanks arrive at the premier...
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What Lies Beneath?

For a creative partnership to last for 30 years is a true feat. It usually requires mutual respect, clear communication, and a genuine appreciation for each other’s work. It could also be some kind of blackmail situation, which might be what’s happening with Tom Hanks and Robert Zemeckis.

The actor and director have made four movies together, one of which is genuinely great, two of which are piss poor, and one of which is Forrest Gump. The duo are reteaming once again for Here, an adaptation of a graphic novel that takes place entirely in the corner of a room, spanning the course of decades. The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Zemeckis will use tools from Metaphysic AI — the same technology behind the Tom Cruise deepfakes — to de-age Hanks and costar Robin Wright.

“I’ve always been attracted to technology that helps me to tell a story. With Here, the film simply wouldn’t work without our actors seamlessly transforming into younger versions of themselves. Metaphysic’s AI tools do exactly that, in ways that were previously impossible,” Zemeckis told THR.

Previously on this website we have called for everyone to wrap it up with de-aging. While that remains our stance on the matter, I would also like to make a plea to Tom Hanks: Cut Bob loose. Whatever kind of dirt he has on you is not worth making us all look at an uncanny version of your younger self.

Zemeckis is, to put it lightly, addicted to technology. Oftentimes this comes at the expense of, say, story and performance. His most recent outing, the “live-action” Pinocchio, was almost universally panned and had Hanks looking like this:


And of course who could forget 2004’s Christmas nightmare The Polar Express, now a go-to example of the uncanny valley which Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers then called “a failed and lifeless experiment in which everything goes wrong."

Now Zemeckis wants to use AI to transform Hanks into a younger version of himself? When it comes to using digital technology to transform Hanks, the Wachowskis already hold the belt. No need to do it again. Hanks should just write his memoir, release whatever juicy intel Zemeckis is holding over his head, and finally be set free.