Martin Scorsese's The Irishman has been hailed by many as one of the best movies of 2019. However, the de-aging process, which cost Netflix millions of dollars, has proven to be quite controversial. Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Al Pacino, who are all in their late 70s, are playing younger characters through the use of the de-aging technology. Some viewers have been able to look past what is seen as a huge flaw, while others are fixated on it throughout the lengthy movie. Now, a clever YouTuber has used the DeepFake technology to vastly improve The Irishman's visuals.
YouTuber iFake took the original scenes from The Irishman and ran them through the free DeepFake software. The results are arguably much, much better than what Industrial Light and Magic was able to pull off for the Netflix project. Robert De Niro is shown on screen actually looking like he's in his 20s or 30s, instead of 50s or 60s. The same can be said for Al Pacino and Joe Pesci too. In addition to being free software, iFake claims it only took him seven days to complete the whole thing.
The de-aging process in The Irishman is supposed to show Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Al Pacino playing real-life mobsters throughout different decades of their lives. A scene showing De Niro's Frank Sheeran, who is supposed to be in his 30s, beating down some mobsters looks more like a 50-year old doing the damage. It is pretty distracting and takes away from some of the greater parts of the movie for some viewers. The new DeepFake video does an excellent job of pulling off what Netflix and ILM could not do.
DeepFake technology has been around for a while now, but it just keeps getting better and better. DeepFake artists are pulling in millions of views on YouTube by creating sometimes crazy and bizarre content, which is often used for humor, or even creating a new Back to The Future sequel. We've seen Nicolas Cage in Indiana Jones and Man of Steel. We've even seen Bill Hader morph into Arnold Schwarzenegger while doing an impression of the actor. The possibilities are really endless and the technology seems to get better every day.
The Irishman has been getting rave reviews, with some critics calling it one of Martin Scorsese's best movies. While the movie certainly looks great on paper, the story does suffer on screen because of the de-aging. Maybe Netflix will hire iFake to come in and clean up their mess for a small fee. Judging by the comments section on the original video, people are already really into seeing a new version of the movie. You can check out The Irishman mixed with DeepFake technology below, thanks to the iFake YouTube channel. Is it better or worse than what ended up in the movie?