Deepfakes are the internet’s way of recasting a role as iconic as Emma Watson’s Hermione from the Harry Potter series with someone else, for fun. In this particular case, this actor swap sees Watson taking the bench in favor of Godzilla vs. Kong star Millie Bobby Brown, and the results are rather interesting. If you can’t get enough of seeing what it would look like if, say, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone starred in Step Brothers, then the swap we’re about to show you is going to really make you think.
Encapsulating what this dream casting would look like throughout the entire era of Harry Potter cinematic adaptations, Millie Bobby Brown’s face is a pretty solid swapping candidate on the surface. But watching through the video, and through careful consideration, you can see where the process isn’t as perfect as digital artist Jarkan might have hoped. Still, the end results are rather impressive, as Brown makes for a pretty impressive Hermione, if this reel is any indication.
On the positive side, if anyone at HBO Max was wondering whether or not Millie Bobby Brown would make for a good hire for its potential Harry Potter series, this video should quell any opposition. Even without her own voice present, Brown embodies Hermione just as well as Emma Watson did. Though it’s still a rather unfair comparison, as Brown’s features are merely being animated on Watson’s performance.
Which leads us to the more negative side of this Harry Potter deepfake. If you look hard enough, the same sorts of problems that crop up in things like the Tom Hardy/Mel Gibson face swap in Mad Max: Fury Road. More specifically, while certain shots blend Millie Bobby Brown’s face into Emma Watson’s overall head, you can see very noticeable gaps in the overall picture. Take a look at the comparison screenshot below, and see if you can spot what we’re talking about:
This is the second Millie Bobby Brown deepfake that we’ve seen in the past couple of months, with the previous effort transposing her face onto Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia from Star Wars. The results between the two videos seem tied, though the edge might go to this Harry Potter video for one solid reason. While the Fisher/Brown swap saw the entire classic trilogy in play, the Fisher/Watson switcheroo covers a wider range of time, and still holds up.
Which ultimately,brings us back around to the subject pertaining to the ethics in precision deepfakes. While it’s fun to watch Millie Bobby Brown transform into other characters in pop culture, it’s also kind of disturbing to see the seams starting to blend in better in other videos of this ilk. Though we won’t start freaking out just yet; at least not until someone convincingly puts Emma Watson into Enola Holmes or Godzilla vs. Kong.
Though it does have to be said that the Millie Bobby Brown-starring version of Godzilla vs. Kong will debut, both in theaters and on HBO Max, on Wednesday, March 31. So there’s always a potential for aspiring deepfake artists to start studying that blockbuster, with the potential to make that scenario mentioned above come true.