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Deepfakes have been making the news quite a bit over the past year or so, and the quality has ranged from decent to uncanny. But the rise of these falsified flights of frenzy has been so frequent that it’s kind of gotten old. Or, at least, that’s what I thought until watching this new Step Brothers deepfake that’s making the rounds.
Not only does it replace Will Ferrell with Arnold Schwarzenegger, but wait until you see who they got to step in for John C. Reilly. Take a look for yourself below:
Bringing Arnold Schwarzenegger into the Step Brothers fold was exciting enough, but throwing in Sylvester Stallone as his co-star and would-be step brother is a stroke of genius. You can thank stand-up comedian and deepfake artist extraordinaire Brian Monarch for this pretty hysterical re-skin of the scene where Will Ferrell’s Brennan and John C. Reilly’s Dale become true best friends. Save some of those thanks for the next point of order, as this fake is one of the most realistic remakes we’ve seen in some time.
Putting aside the fact that this footage still very much sounds like Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, as it still contains the original audio from Step Brothers, the visual quality of deepfakery is outstanding. The finished product actually looks so good, it feels like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone both put on silly wigs and just lip synced to the footage from Adam McKay’s comedy hit. Even the facial tics of both actors come through in brilliant detail, as they’re animated over their more comedic counterparts; and it’s something that poses a pretty deep question: why is this only a joke?
Though Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger did engage in a bit of a rivalry earlier in their careers, leading to everything from the tossing of large bowls of flowers to Stallone nabbing the lead in Stop, Or My Mom Will Shoot as a result of being pranked by Arnie, the two action titans are friends and occasional co-workers at this point. But both men have comedic chops, and have put them to great use in the past. So while we’re wasting all of this energy on getting a sequel to Twins, maybe we should divert some of that effort to get a comedy hit starring Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
I’m not saying that Twins 2 isn’t a worthwhile cause, but it’s been several years since that idea stalled out. And maybe another Schwarzenegger comedy in the vein of Step Brothers and co-starring Sylvester Stallone could be the key to putting more gas in the tank. Or, at the very least, hold a live reading of the Step Brothers script with Stallone, Schwarzenegger and as many ‘80s and ‘90s action stars you can snag for the event. So long as Richard Jenkins and Mary Steenburgen are both still playing the parents, everything else is up for grabs! For now, all we can do is enjoy this ingenious deepfake and hope that somehow this live reading idea makes its way into the hand of the right people.