This New App Can Believably Insert Nic Cage Into Any Movie Ever Made

Nick Cage DeepFakes, YouTube
Nick Cage DeepFakes, YouTube

Film criticism is a highly subjective art form, but not many people will argue against the idea that any movie featuring Nicolas Cage is better for it. What if we were no longer burdened by the often-impenetrable logic of Cage and his managers choosing projects like The Wicker Man remake? What if we could recast Cage in movies made before he was even born?

These are heavy existential questions—and ones best handled by the Reddit community. Recently, The A.V. Club reported on a subreddit devoted to software that can map faces onto existing motion footage. This kind of “deep learning” technology makes it possible to alter video by grafting semi-believable features on actors already in the frame.

In a compilation posted to YouTube, you can see how this works. Here’s Cage “appearing” as Indiana Jones, James Bond, and Lois Lane:

Some clips are more polished than others. Cage is surprisingly well-rendered as Lois in Man of Steel, though Cage laid over John Travolta (who is playing Cage in Face-Off) looks like digitized Claymation.

Naturally, the software’s users haven’t restricted themselves to pursuing an all-Cage media landscape. There are already adult videos being treated with the technology to make it appear as though celebrities are engaged in explicit and provocative behavior, a potential legal and moral minefield that will likely grow as the technology improves.

Compared to that, inserting Cage into The Godfather (directed by his uncle, Francis Ford Coppola) or producing an all-Cage version of Pitch Perfect seems like a relatively tame pursuit. But Reddit will have to work overtime to meet the real actor’s pace. Cage appeared in five films in 2016, another five in 2017, and already has five films (and counting) set to be released in 2018.

[h/t IndieWire]

Mark Hamill Confirmed How He'll Be Returning in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

We can always count on Mark Hamill to give us some early intel on the next Star Wars movie—whether the studios like it or not. And earlier this week, the 67-year-old actor came through for us yet again.

While attending the Child’s Play premiere, the Associated Press asked Hamill about The Rise of Skywalker and whether he would be involved in the final film in the Skywalker Saga. Hamill confirmed that he would indeed be making an appearance, and shed new light on how.

When asked if this would be his final appearance in the Star Wars franchise, Hamill replied, “I sure hope so,” before elaborating, “I had closure in [The Last Jedi]. The fact that I’m involved in any capacity is only because of that peculiar aspect of the Star Wars mythology where if you’re a Jedi, you get to come back and make a curtain call as a Force ghost.”

The fact that Hamill will appear as a Force ghost doesn’t come as a big shock to fans, as most have been convinced that was the only way he could return to the franchise. (He did die in the previous film, The Last Jedi, after all.) However, suspicious fans have been speculating about other ways he could come back, with some using promotional photos as possible evidence that Luke will be resurrected.

Despite knowing a major part of Luke Skywalker’s return in The Rise of Skywalker, we still have plenty of questions. We’ll just have to wait until the film debuts on December 20 to find everything out.

[h/t Associated Press]

Fans Are Rallying for Macaulay Culkin to Play Joker in The Batman

Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone (1990).
Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone (1990).
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

After months of speculation, it was only recently announced that Robert Pattinson will be the next actor to don the Dark Knight's iconic cape in Matt Reeves's upcoming film The Batman. Unsurprisingly, the response to the casting news was mixed.

While it’s believed The Batman will center around a younger version of Bruce Wayne than we’ve seen previously, there is still a lot of mystery surrounding other major plot points—including which villains will be included, and who will play them.

We Got This Covered reports that various DC characters are being rumored to appear in the film, including Penguin, Catwoman, Riddler, Firefly, Two-Face, and the Mad Hatter. But fans are desperate to know if the most notable Batman villain will be included on the roster: the Joker.

Though there has been no mention of the Joker in conversations surrounding the new film, that hasn’t stopped the rumor mill—nor has it prevented fans from offering up their ideas on who could nail the iconic role, and Macaulay Culkin is apparently at the top of the list.

The former child star has not commented on the validity of the rumors, but many DC fans are on board with it, including digital artist Bryan Zapp who created an image of what Culkin would look like as the Joker.

Meanwhile, Todd Phillips's Joker, a standalone film focusing on the villain’s origin story and starring Joaquin Phoenix, is set to hit theaters on October 4.

Although it could get confusing, The Batman will be part of the DCEU, while Joker will not live in the shared universe, which means there could very well be two portrayals of the same character at the same time. Whether or not Culkin would take on the role—or if there will be a Joker at all—is only up for speculation right now.

[h/t We Got This Covered]