Aside from becoming one of a handful of Marvel Studios tentpoles to cross over $1 billion at the global box office, Captain Marvel also managed to deploy some of the most impressive de-aging CGI effects seen yet. Previous MCU entries have toyed around with these effects too, but the first major non-Marvel property to do so is going to be Martin Scorsese’s Netflix crime saga The Irishman. Veteran actors Robert De Niro and Al Pacino are going to appear as their older and younger selves in the film… but there’s a catch.
According to IndieWire, it seems that Scorsese is “concerned” with how the film’s special effects are coming, and whether or not the back-to-back shots of younger and older Pacinos and De Niros will be convincing enough to the audience. He expressed these concerns on a recent episode of the A Bigger Canvas podcast with The Souvenir director Joanna Hogg:
“Why I’m concerned, we’re all concerned is that we’re so used to watching them as the older faces,” Scorsese said. “When we put them all together, it cuts back and forth….Now, it’s real. Now, I’m seeing it. Now, certain shots need more work on the eyes, need more work on why these exactly the same eyes from the plate shot, but the wrinkles and things have changed. Does it change the eyes at all? If that’s the case, what was in the eyes that I liked? Was it intensity? Was it gravitas? Was it threat?”
On the surface, it seems that Scorsese’s worries about the de-aging effects stem from his fear that something about the actors’ performances will be lost in the process. Then again, since The Irishman is supposedly going to use a lot of de-aged shots of Pacino and De Niro throughout its runtime, he’s probably just as concerned with the fact that audiences won’t entirely buy into the effects themselves.
It worked out okay for Captain Marvel, which saw a lot of de-aged shots of co-star Samuel L. Jackson. Then again, the film didn’t cut between shots of his younger and older selves, so… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯