“Anybody can now recreate themselves at any age they are by way of AI [artificial intelligence] or deep fake technology,” Hanks, 66, explained during the Saturday, May 13, episode of the “Adam Buxton” podcast. “I could be hit by a bus tomorrow and that’s it, but my performances can go on and on and on.”
The two-time Oscar winner noted that there’s a “bona fide possibility right now” that his likeness at any age could be recreated for future projects.
“If I wanted to, I could get together and 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,” the Sleepless in Seattle star said.
Hanks acknowledged that while there would be a general “understanding that it’s being done by AI or deep fake, there’ll be nothing to tell you that it’s not me and me alone and it’s going to have some degree of lifelike quality.”
The Toy Story actor is aware that “without a doubt” viewers will be able to tell it’s an AI version of the actor, but then asked, “Will they care?” He pointed out: “There are some people that won’t care, that won’t make that delineation.”
While the Emmy winner didn’t reveal whether he really wanted to release new films posthumously, he told listeners that it isn’t that big of a stretch for Hollywood greats to live on forever with the latest technologies.
“This has always been lingering,” Hanks said. “The first time we did a movie that had a huge amount of our own data locked in a computer — literally what we looked like — was a movie called The Polar Express.”
In the 2004 animated holiday film, the actor had his real-life movements and likeness recorded to make his conductor character lifelike on screen.
“We saw this coming. We saw that there was going to be this ability in order to take zeros and ones inside a computer and turn it into a face and a character,” the Forrest Gump actor explained. “Now, that has only grown a billionfold since then and we see it everywhere.”
Earlier this month, the Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece author reflected on the joy of making movies and why he continues to do it decade after decade.
“When I was young, and I’d see some movie … I’d come out and say, ‘I can’t imagine a better way of spending two hours than having come see this movie,’” Hanks recalled during a May 9 appearance on CBS Mornings. “[I thought], ‘My life has actually expanded because I was involved in the story of what these people were [doing].’”
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The Big star gushed over the “participatory process” that comes with watching and working in film, adding, “You are transported from your seat into a character in that film. You are a participant.”