Schwarzenegger Plays ‘No Country for Old Men’ Villain in Deepfake Video

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Tony Maples Photography


Fans of the 2007 neo-western thriller “No Country for Old Men” already appreciate the value a good villain (forgive the oxymoron) can bring to the big screen. That being said, there’s no reason it can’t be improved upon! Set in West Texas in 1980, the film follows Llewelyn Moss (played by Josh Brolin) as he’s pursued by hitman Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem, in an Oscar-winning performance) following his stumbling upon the aftermath and money from a drug deal gone bad. The story, originally written by Cormac McCarthy, was produced for the big screen starring Tommy Lee Jones and Woody Harrelson among the aforementioned noteworthy cast members. But there’s room for one more, right? And this one might surprise you: Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Ctrl Shift Face, a YouTube account specializing in videos which are labeled “deepfake,” has taken the footage from “No Country for Old Men” and transformed it in a new version, placing the likeness of actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Terminator himself, in the role of Chigurh. Deepfake videos make use of A.I. (artificial intelligence) to create the appearance of a human’s presence in the film based on original footage and imagery. The results are often shockingly realistic.

Video: YouTube/Ctrl Shift Face

In working with further A.I. exchanges, Willem Dafoe and Leonardo DiCaprio were also used by Ctrl Shift Face for the same “Coin Toss” scene deepfake videos. The outcome is fairly freaky, when viewed with the naked eye. The behaviors and mannerisms are unique to the actors but still fitting to the scene. Those who relish Bardem’s intense performance in the role of Chigurh may find themselves offended that a deepfake could be made to switch him out of the film, but those who appreciate technology and have a mild sense of humor will likely get a kick out of it. It has definitely made it clear why Bardem was the obvious choice for the part. His ability to bring the psychotic hitman to life in a way that sent chills down everyone’s spines is evident when you see work such as this.