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‘Forrest Gump IX’? Tom Hanks says “right now” he could pitch deepfake movies starring his younger self

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ABC/Christopher Willard

While de-aging digital technology is now commonly being deployed for flashbacks in Hollywood movies — and also, confidentially, to tweak certain stars’ looks on screenTom Hanks says this is only the beginning.

In a conversation on the Adam Buxton Podcast, the two-time Oscar winner said he saw the changes coming when his face was used for a character in 2004’s computer animated film The Polar Express.

While that movie was goofed on then, and especially now, for its creepy “uncanny valley” quality, things have changed.

Hanks says, “We saw that there was going to be this ability to take zeros and ones from inside a computer and turn it into a face and a character. That has only grown a billion-fold since then and we see it everywhere.”

He adds, “What is a bona fide possibility right now is — if I wanted to — I could … pitch a series of seven movies that would star me in them in which I would be 32 years old from now until kingdom come.”

Hanks jokes, “I could be hit by a bus tomorrow and that’s it — but performances can go on and on and on. Outside of the understanding that it’s being done by AI or deepfake there’ll be nothing to tell you that it’s not me and me alone.”

He called it “an artistic challenge” and “a legal one.”

The Forrest Gump star explains there are discussions “in … all of the agencies, and all of the legal firms” in Hollywood “to come up with the legal ramifications of my face and my voice and everybody else’s being our intellectual property.”

Last year, for example, Bruce Willis authorized a deepfake company to use his likeness in an overseas ad after he retired from acting because of his aphasia diagnosis.

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