Deepfake casts Tom Holland and Robert Downey Jr. in ‘Back to the Future’


There are few sci-fi duos more beloved than Tom Holland’s Spiderman and Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man. Their bond, formed throughout the trials and tribulations of the Infinity Saga, is one that pulls at the heartstrings of fans.

However, if there is a duo that can challenge them, it would be Doc Brown and Marty McFly from “Back to the Future.” With today’s technology, it’s possible to have the best of both worlds. A new deepfake video has cast Tom Holland as Marty and Downey Jr. as Doc Brown.

Startlingly Realistic

The new deepfake popped up on Friday as a surprise for fans of the MCU and the “Back to the Future” series. It was uploaded to YouTube by user EZRyderX47.

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You can watch the whole clip in the player below:

To the untrained eye, it’s difficult to tell that the video has been digitally manipulated at all. In fact, someone who has never seen “Back to the Future” might believe that it is the original film. The face transplant is executed to near perfection. Only the voices of the original actors (Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd) remain.

The clip shows off the famous scene where Marty discovers that his mother has “the hots” for him after traveling back in time. Seeing the interactions between him and Doc with the faces of Holland and Downey Jr. feels natural. It’s almost as if the duo time-traveled to take on the roles in real life.

Oddly enough, the deepfake isn’t EZRyderX47’s only one featuring a face-swap between Holland and Fox. The user also uploaded a clip from 2019’s “Spider-Man: Far from Home” featuring Michael J. Fox as the acrobatic hero.

Powerful Technology

Like it or not, we live in a world where almost any video can be deepfaked. With the right hardware and software, it’s easy enough for just about anyone to pull off. In fact, the YouTube user responsible for the “Back to the Future” fake even listed out what they used.

Some open-source software by the names of DeepFaceLab and HitFilm Express along with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 SC graphics card is all it took to bring the videos to life.

While that is a testament to the accessibility to deepfake technology, it is also a frightening reality. Of course, videos like this one are nothing more than an entertaining bit of media.

Clips showing Barack Obama in Wakanda as Black Panther and Will Smith in the Matrix have given fans a glimpse at some incredible crossovers and alternate histories of their favorite films. However, deepfake videos often have more sinister uses.

A key concern in the 2020 election season is the use of deepfakes to sway political leanings and spread misinformation. Policymakers are currently working on legislation that limits what individuals can do with deepfakes and may force users to add a disclaimer that a video has been altered.

Meanwhile, Big Tech companies like Facebook and Microsoft are teaming up to help detect deepfake technology across the web.

Regardless, seeing one of pop culture’s favorite duos filling in for another beloved pairing is something that everyone can agree is pretty cool.


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