In a rudimentary sense, deepfakes can be a face-swap of sorts, but really it’s more complex. It makes something that wasn’t — swapping in a person for another, changing what they say, shapeshifting reality. That’s why it can be scary. Imagine the damage that could be done making someone say something they did not.
But again… they can also be kind of fun. That in mind, we’ve collected some of our favorite amateur deepfake videos but, you know, not the kind that threaten democracy.
Ok, so this is really two videos but let it slide. Hader is already a master impressionist, so the idea to deepfake-in celeb faces while he does impressions is pretty brilliant. The swapping-in-and-out of Tom Cruise is wild and the Arnold one isn’t bad either.
2. Jim Carrey in The Shining
YouTube account Ctrl Shift Face — one of the more popular deepfake creators — inserted Jim Carrey into Jack Nicholson’s role in the classic 1980 thriller The Shining. It’s uncanny and creepily good.
3. Steve Buscemi as Jennifer Lawrence? Sure, why not?
Buscemi’s face, Lawrence’s body, talking about the Real Housewives. Ok, then.
4. The president as a little girl
It’s a strange idea, yes, but compelling nonetheless. But strange. So strange.
5. Back to the Future, but make it Spiderman
This mash-up from YouTuber EZRyderX47 took the internet by storm in February 2020. The premise is simple: What if Robert Downey Jr. and Tom Holland were Doc and Marty. As Mashable’s Kellen Beck wrote at the time, it’s “an incredibly convincing glimpse at what it would be like if the Avengers themselves rebooted the 1985 classic Back to the Future.”
6. The Office, but everyone is Michael Scott
You know that scene from The Office where everyone watches the little DVD logo bounce around the TV screen? OK, so this is that, but everyone has Michael’s face and it’s almost brilliant in how pointless it is. The actual video is glitchy and not super realistic looking, but it’s fun nonetheless.
7. Office Space, but darker somehow
As Mashable’s Morgan Sung wrote in February 2020, “now we can finally see what would have happened if Neo took the blue pill.” Basically, this deepfake imagines The Matrix but in the Office Space universe and it’s bleak. Very bleak.
8. Will Smith as Neo
While we’re playing with the Matrix universe, why not drop Will Smith into its most important role, which he turned down to do Wild Wild West? (Yikes.)
9. Solo: A Star Wars Story but with the original Han
Actor Alden Ehrenreich likely faced an impossible challenge of playing a young Han Solo aka a young Harrison Ford. That’s because, well, Harrison Ford is unimpeachable and perhaps the coolest man alive. The account derpfakes produced a subtle deepfake that inserts Ford into Solo, relieving Ehrenreich of that challenge.
10. A deepfake roundtable
Shouts to Collider for creativity. They used actors and deepfake tech to produce a fake discussion among Robert Downey, Jr., George Lucas, Tom Cruise, Ewan McGregor, and Jeff Goldblum. It’s funny and just the right amount of unsettling.
11. Bernie Sanders doing an interpretive dance
I mean… do we need to say anything else?
12. Billionaire Star Trek
The account The Fakening gives us a creepily good clip that inserts Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Tesla’s Elon Musk into Star Trek. It’s really good and again, kind of (very) creepy.
13. Home Stallone
Sometimes a great idea starts with a dumb pun. That’s what appears to have happened with Home Stallone, which inserts Sylvester Stallone (you know, Rocky) into Macaulay Culkin’s role in Home Alone. Although, the video doesn’t really keep the entire plot of Home Alone, takings things into a much darker place.