HOW DIGITAL DE-AGING IS CHANGING THE FACE OF MOVIES

More movies are using CGI to let older actors play younger characters

Pictured are Will Smith in Gemini Man, Robert De Niro in The Irishman, and Samuel L. Jackson in Captain Marvel. All three actors were digitally de-aged in movies that released in 2019. (Paramount Pictures/Netflix/Marvel Studios)

Will Smith, Samuel L. Jackson and Robert De Niro have something in common, and it’s not their next project.

Instead, it’s wrinkles, and the quickly growing industry that’s come along to remove them.

Each of those actors had movies debut in 2019 (Gemini ManCaptain Marvel and The Irishman) that used various technologies to make them look younger, dramatically improving an effect that has only really become convincing in the past 15 years.

The end results were so effective that, even though their critical reception varied, each of those films are front runners in the race for the Oscars’ 2020 visual effects award.

And they’re far from alone. Just this year, John Goodman was “digitally de-aged” for an entire episode of HBO’s The Righteous Gemstones, Stan Lee appeared as his younger self in Avengers: Endgame — with Chris Evans appearing decades older in the same film — and both Terminator: Dark Fate and It: Chapter 2 had their stars appear years younger than they really are.

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