Next week, fans will finally get a chance to play Crystal Dynamics’ Marvel’s Avengers video game in its entirety, but no matter how good the title may be, for some, it’ll come up lacking. From the beginning, the people behind the new action-adventure release have made it clear that their story and characters stood apart from the MCU, which meant superheroes like Captain America and Thor would not look like the actors who portray them on the big screen. Of course, with the ever-creepy deepfake technology, no one has to abide by God’s laws — or Hollywood's contracts — ever again.
YouTuber BabyZone went ahead and did MCU fans a solid, plugging the Marvel’s Avengers intro sequence into IPerov’s DeepFaceLab 2.0 to mimic the whole Marvel film roster. The results? Well... just see for yourself below. They're a little hit and miss.
Avengers, sort of assembled — Look, the results aren’t terrible, but you can’t tell us that the Bruce Banner / Mark Ruffalo deepfake doesn't sorta look like Ray Romano. Now, credit where credit is due: Characters like Black Widow and Thor are much more uncanny with their respective Scarlett Johansson and Chris Hemsworth faces. Thankfully, Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man has, you know, the Iron Man suit on most of the time, so that must have saved BabyZone a lot of time and energy.
“I used my own 192 DF model trained over 1m iterations," they told Eurogamer, "The faceset for each actor was created from the Marvel's Avengers movies and then trained separately for each cutscene." Alas, no one will be able to play as these actor swap-ins, seeing as how it’s just deepfaking with pre-existing videos, but it’s still an interesting exercise.
Using deepfakes for good instead of evil — Of course, seeing some familiar(ish) faces in a new Marvel video game can only go so far if the game itself is a stinker. Take that recent Harrison Ford deepfake for 2018's Solo: A Star Wars Story, for example. Sure, it looks a helluva lot more like the OG Han... but then you'd still have to still sit through two hours of the middling Solo: A Star Wars Story.
So far, at least, early reviews of its Beta release of the game seem pretty decent, but we’re just gonna have to wait to see the full package when it comes out on September 4th. To be honest, we’re just relieved anytime deepfakes show up in our newsfeed for something pleasant, instead of for stuff like terrorism and extortion.