One thing that has taken fans out of the experience is how video game heroes look nothing like the actors who portrayed them on the big screen. Perhaps that is why someone used deep fake technology to make a Marvel’s Avengers trailer featuring the CG faces of the MCU cast.
YouTuber BabyZone has decided to have a crack at inserting the likeness of Robert Downey, Jr, Mark Ruffalo and others into the upcoming live service title. The video uploaded by YouTuber BabyZone imagines what the upcoming Marvel’s Avengers would look like if the characters had the likeness of the MCU cast. The core cast is seen in the video including Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, and Robert Downy Jr. The video adds deep fake technology to paste CG versions of the cast’s faces onto their video game counterparts, and creates for an interesting departure from the game’s official CG launch trailer that recently dropped.
The effects were achieved via the use of AI machine learning DeepFake technology, specifically DeepFaceLab 2.0. It was used to make the digital face models for each actor. The entire process took well over a month to finalize. The software was trained over one million iterations in order to achieve the final version. A hugely time-consuming task, but the content creator does not intend to stop there. When Marvel’s Avengers launches, BabyZone says they will have full access to cutscenes, enabling the creation of more fan-made deepfakes.
Apparently, the effects look good on some of the characters, but fall into the dreaded uncanny valley with others. The consensus online seems to be that Captain America, Black Widow, and Iron Man look the best in the video. Conversely, Thor and Banner look off-putting, because their faces and haircuts do not mesh well onto the video game models. However still, the video evidently took a lot of work and is a sight worth seeing.
Unfortunately, the publisher Square Enix would have never been able to use the cast’s faces for Marvel’s Avengers, because they would have to secure the rights from Disney, that is notorious for keeping a tight grip on its IPs. Even, if the developer did get the rights, it would still have to make the new faces for all the characters in the game that did not make an appearance in the MCU. A recent datamine leak hints which fans are going to get to play a number of lesser-known characters including Kate Bishop, She-Hulk, Mockingbird, Mar-Vall, and Quake.
Marvel’s Avengers is an action game that promises to merge its campaign with an expansive multiplayer experience. The game has been delayed several times, but is set to launch the first week of September. Responses after playing the Avengers open beta, that closed August 23 have largely been mixed. For your information, Marvel’s Avengers is out September 4th for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC and Stadia. Versions for the Xbox Series X and PS5 are also in development. Two characters, Hawkeye and Spider-Man have been confirmed for post-launch release.