Every single one of us, including the richest and the most famous Hollywood celebrities, is powerless in the face of time. However, in the era of exponential technological growth, movies and TV shows are able to slightly tame it.
De-aging is a visual effects technique performed using digital editing and CGI, that allows professionals to make actors and actresses look years or even decades younger. The first movie to ever use this technique was 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand, rewinding the clock for Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen. Since then, many others have employed de-aging techniques in their own creations.
Without further ado, Bored Panda invites you to scroll down and take a look at some of the most iconic movie stars that were made to look younger using CGI and digital editing.
Kurt Russell In 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' (2017)
The traditional way of making actors be a different age on screen was getting creative with makeup, clothes and accessories, using prosthetics, or casting younger actors to play certain characters in flashback scenes. However, the results achieved using these techniques aren't always that amazing.
As we mentioned before, the first ones to employ the de-aging technique in film was the creators of X-Men: The Last Stand, that had scenes taking the narrative back in time.
“Like any of the first forays into new effects, these effects by today’s standards seem a bit outdated,” a lead compositor at London-based visual effects house Framestore Owen Braekke-Carroll told Backstage. “But for the time, they were at the top of their game, and also paved the way for the method and ideas we use regularly today. Seeing them on the screen like that—I immediately thought that if this was possible, it would be used widely to let the filmmakers add or extend the story beyond the time audiences were used to.”
Anthony Hopkins In 'Westworld' (2016-Present)
“De-ageing is quite a bit more complex now,” Braekke-Carroll shared with Backstage. “There are even a few different approaches depending on the desired outcome. For smaller and more subtle effects, a digital touch-up or ‘airbrush’ isn’t out of the question. But for the full-screen, full-performance-type effect, it’s usually more of a total digital rebuild of the face and head—often using a stand-in body double of similar proportion and build to the original actor.”
Stan Lee In 'Avengers: Endgame' (2019)
Michael Douglas In 'Ant-Man And The Wasp' (2018)
Mark Hamill In 'The Mandalorian' (2019-Present)
Of course, people have all kinds of opinions about digital de-aging. "My problem with de-aging that the actors still move like an old person," someone pointed out under the YouTube video called De-Aging Will Change Movies Forever. "Young Sam Jackson also walks and moves like an old man. You can't de-age posture," another user added.
"This, combined with deepfakes and voice modulation. We'll only need ONE actor in the future to play EVERY role!" someone pointed out.
Michelle Pfeiffer In 'Ant-Man And The Wasp' (2018)
Patrick Stewart In 'X-Men: The Last Stand' (2006)
A few users pointed out how de-aging technology may prevent newly-baked actors from getting their shot in the movie industry. "I think it just makes actors obsolete. Why hire newbies when you have thousands of hours of great actors already acting? Just use that and make a new movie! Cheaper! Terrifying......" someone commented.