Matt Stone and Trey Parker wanted to go even deeper with deepfakes. In fact, the “South Park” co-creators even had an entire deepfake movie, aptly titled “Deep Fake: The Movie,” in the works during the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown.
The duo revealed to the Los Angeles Times that their viral 2020 short video “Sassy Justice” was just the tip of the potential for deepfake films.
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“Not a lot of people know that we were a day away from starting production on the first feature movie we had done since ‘Team America: World Police,'” Parker said of pre-pandemic productions. “We were going to start shooting on the day that the pandemic shut everything down. It was months and months of getting ready for that movie, to just being like, ‘Nope, it’s over.'”
Stone shared, “We were working on a ‘deep fake’ movie [with actor and comedian Peter Serafinowicz, from ‘Sassy Justice’]. We have a deep fake company [called Deep Voodoo], and we have all these deep fake artists working for us. Even though the script was sort of timely, we ended up keeping the deep fake part of the studio going.”
Parker clarified, “It was going to be ‘Deep Fake: The Movie.’ It was about this guy who looked exactly like Trump because we deep fake Trump’s face onto him. And it was this whole funny thing because, of course, it ends up with Trump just naked and getting run through the wringer and everything, and that’s why it was so funny and so timely.”
Serafinowicz previously played a deepfake Trump faux-reporting out of Cheyenne, Wyoming for “Sassy Justice.” Parker previously described the 15-minute video as “probably the single most expensive YouTube video ever made,” with the likenesses of Donald Trump, Mark Zuckerberg, Al Gore, Jared Kushner, and Ivanka Trump appearing onscreen. The production was the first project out of deepfake studio Deep Voodoo.
Now, “Deep Fake: The Movie” is “sort of on hold,” according to Stone.
Parker added, “It was very timely and the timeliness of it has passed. We’d have to majorly rethink it to do it now.”
As Stone noted, it was the technology behind “Deep Fake: The Movie” that the team actually “stuck with,” with Grammy winner Kendrick Lamar using the studio for his “The Heart Part 5” music video to transform into OJ Simpson, Jussie Smollett, Nipsey Hussle, Kobe Bryant, and Kanye West. Parker and Stone are also producing Lamar’s upcoming comedy with Paramount Pictures.
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