Tom Cruise Becomes Tony Stark In Stunning Armor Wars Video

A YouTube video using deepfake technology superimposed Tom Cruise's face onto Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man scenes.

By Robert Scucci | Updated

Robert Downey Jr. Iron Man

Deepfake technology has come a very long way in a short amount of time, and the implications are terrifying, according to Business Insider; newsreels can be manipulated, and there can be real-life consequences to the public’s perception of reality. But in entertainment, the creative possibilities are endless, and the popular content creator, stryder HD, is having some fun with deepfake technology by casting Tom Cruise as Iron Man in a concept video. With Robert Downey Jr.’s future as Iron Man considered to be uncertain, we’ve gotta admit that the Top Gun star looks good as Tony Stark.

So what is deepfake technology? The easiest way to describe deep-faking is by using artificial intelligence to superimpose images in a video. In this case, Tom Cruise’s likeness is used to replace Robert Downey Jr.’s. Think of it as a form of futuristic photoshopping that allows creators to switch out faces digitally, a la Nicolas Cage’s Face/Off, but without all that pesky surgery. But with cool technology comes legal implications; can production studios simply take somebody’s likeness without their permission to make content that they wouldn’t normally stand behind?

While the ethics of deepfake technology are certainly questionable, you can’t blame creative individuals for having fun with it. After all, seeing clips of Tom Cruise acting out scenes that originally featured Robert Downey Jr is pretty wild and has us scratching our heads over how realistic it really seems. On the other hand, think about how easily studios could fix up scenes in post-production by using deepfake technology on stunt doubles that may have the right build but the wrong face.

What’s unfortunate about deepfake experiments is that they show us concepts that may never come to fruition. In this case, Tom Cruise now has to address fans and let them know that he’s not actually making an entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Now that we’ve got a taste of something that we might want, it’s a letdown in a way because we probably won’t get it … at least not anytime soon.

tom cruise
Tom Cruise in Minority Report

We have to admit that it’s fun to think about, though! Imagining Tom Cruise as Tony Stark or Iron Man is only the tip of the iceberg; a 2019 concept showed us what it would be like if Jim Carrey took Jack Nicholson’s place in The Shining, and for a minute, we were all fooled. After all, Jim Carrey does a mean Jack Nicholson impression; there’s no doubt in our mind that the Liar Liar actor could actually pull such an impersonation off, but in this case, the clip was brought to us by deepfake technology.

While Tom Cruise taking over the role of Iron Man may only be a figment of our imaginations, we don’t see any harm in having a little bit of fun using deepfake technology to show us what it could actually look like. Though for now, let’s leave the facial transformations to make-up and VFX artists, and let’s let Tom Cruise take on the roles that he wants to take on! We can’t have Tom Cruise being everywhere all at once, and we really want to see where Mission: Impossible 7 – Dead Reckoning: Part 1 is going to take us!