Technology is so good right now that it’s bad. By “bad” we mean that now more than ever it’s easier to trick people into believing something fake is real. Deepfakes? They’re really bad. DALL-E AI images? Less bad, but still worrying. A more lighthearted version of digital subterfuge can be seen in a series of posters, made in part with DALL-E, that were so good some people were convinced Netflix was making a Legend of Zelda movie with Tom Holland, Emma Watson, Idris Elba, and more. Spoiler: They’re not.
— Kotaku (@Kotaku) October 11, 2022
As per Kotaku, someone posted a handful of posters for this fake, definitely not real Netflix production, featuring big names dressed up like characters from one of Nintendo’s first sensations. They’re pretty realistic-looking! Holland, as Link, has blonde hair, elfish ears, and an earring. Watson looks like how Watson would look like if she was playing Zelda. Elba makes for a menacing Ganon. Again, none of them are playing any of these characters, in a movie that doesn’t exist.
But the fakes were spot-on. They should be: In his post, their creator, one Dan Leveille, said they were made with such AI tools as Midjourney, in painting with DALL-E, Tencent ARC, and a “bunch of Photoshop.” Leveille even said as such, revealing that they were fakes.
That didn’t stop the post from getting almost 300,000 shares of this writing. The comments board was lit up, with some of the usual unwelcome suspects. There were fans complaining that Netflix was ruining their childhood. There were racists making jokes about how a Zelda movie in 2022 would have to be even more diverse.
So to reiterate: There is no Zelda movie with Tom Holland and Emma Watson and Idris Elba. There’s just some painstakingly designed fakes from someone with some real skills and some real time on their hands. Hopefully Holland didn’t catch wind of them, long as he’s still on his social media break.