‘Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga’ Used AI to Mix Anya Taylor-Joy’s Face With Child Actor

mad max furiosa ai anya-taylor-joy child actor
Filmmakers used AI to combine Anya Taylor-Joy’s face (left) with child actor Alyla Browne’s face (right) in ‘Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga’

The filmmakers behind Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga used AI to make a child actor look like the lead actress Anya Taylor-Joy and blend their faces together.

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is the fifth entry in George Miller’s post-apocalyptic series Mad Max. The film tells the origin story of Imperator Furiosa, played by Charlize Theron in the 2015 movie Mad Max: Fury Road.

In Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, child actor Alyla Browne plays a younger version of the titular character, while Anya Taylor-Joy portrays the older Furiosa following a time jump in the movie.

‘They Mixed Our Faces Together’

In a recent interview on The Kelly Clarkson Show, Taylor-Joy revealed that Miller used AI technology to create a seamless transition between the two actresses playing Furiosa.

Taylor-Joy says the director used AI to composite Taylor-Joy’s face with Browne’s face in the movie, which opened in the U.S. on Friday.

“George Miller had the idea very early on,” Taylor-Joy says.

“The audience was already getting used to a new Furiosa [after Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road]. He wanted the transition from both actors [Browne and Taylor-Joy] playing her to be seamless.

“And so I did two days of the craziest things you could ever possibly imagine. And they mixed our faces together.”

Taylor-Joy says that at the start of the Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, it is about 35% of her appearance on Brown. Then by the point that Taylor-Joy is about to assume the role of Furiosa, it’s approximately 80% of her face on the child actor.

“We don’t actually look that much alike. It’s AI, which is really crazy,” Taylor-Joy adds.

According to Variety, there are still no details on Miller achieved this seamless transition between the two actors. However, the publication reports that DNEG and Framestore are the film’s primary visual effects providers.

Meanwhile, startup Metaphysic AI — which is developing AI tools for uses such as the aging and de-aging of actors — is listed in the film’s closing credits and presumably, it is this technology that was involved in the making of Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.

‘It is Something That is Frightening’

The use of AI in filmmaking remains controversial. In March, horror film Late Night With The Devil came under fire for using AI-generated images.

The use of AI in film and television was also a major sticking point between studios and artists during the strikes by the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and Screen Actors Guild (SGA) last year.

The new WGA contract that came out as a result of the strikes includes wording that “AI-generated material can’t be used to undermine a writer’s credit or separated rights,” while the SAG deal required that consent and compensation guidelines are required to use AI to replicate actors’ likenesses.

In her interview with The Kelly Clarkson Show, Taylor-Joy acknowledged the complicated ethical issues and fears around AI technology in Hollywood.

“It is something that is frightening, and I think if you’re going to use it you have to be honest about it and it always has to be consensual,” Taylor-Joy says.

“It’s the lack of consent in anything in life that is the scary thing.”