A still from 'Here' trailer
(TriStar Pictures)

Robert Zemeckis and Tom Hanks Take Another Trip to the Uncanny Valley With ‘Here’

Robert Zemeckis certainly doesn’t have an issue with being the subject of online discourse. He’s taken one of Hollywood’s most controversial points of contention—extensive use of AI—and built an entire movie around it.

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Scheduled to release on November 15, 2024, in the United States by Tristar Pictures through Sony Pictures Releasing, the film, titled Here, reunites Tom Hanks and Robin Wright with their 1994 Oscar-winning film Forrest Gump‘s director, Zemeckis.

Paul Bettany, Kelly Reilly, and Michelle Dockery also star in the drama co-written by Zemeckis and Eric Roth, based on the graphic novel of the same name by Richard McGuire.

Here’s the cast list for Here:

  • Tom Hanks as Richard Young
  • Robin Wright as Margaret
  • Paul Bettany as Al Young
  • Kelly Reilly as Rose Young
  • Michelle Dockery as Mrs. Harter
  • Gwilym Lee as Mr. Harter
  • Ophelia Lovibond as Stella Beekman
  • David Fynn as Leo

Zemeckis and Hanks also worked together on the 2004 film The Polar Express, best known for its “uncanny valley” that presented actors in that space between animation and live-action that many of us find to be excessively creepy.

The trailer for Here, featuring de- and up-aged versions of Hanks and Wright strikes a similar vein.

Here will follow the story of multiple families over the course of generations, as they go through different emotions and human experiences. Also there are dinosaurs. The film is shot in a single location, which goes on to become Hanks and Wright’s characters’ home.

The AI tool that has been used to de-age Hanks and Wright is called Metaphysic Live, which face-swaps in real-time. For reference, Wright has been de-aged to look younger by using stills of hers from when she was 19 years old. The AI product was popularized after its founders, Tom Graham and Chris Ume, were able to create a photorealistic caricature of Elvis Presley in the 17th season of America’s Got Talent.

The film is produced by Jack Rapke, Bill Block, Derek Hogue, and Zemeckis, with Miramax also attached as producer. Here marks another partnership between Zemeckis and Alan Silvestri, who has given the background score for almost all of the director’s films since 1984. Meanwhile, Here is Hanks and Zemeckis’s fifth film together, after Forrest Gump, Cast Away, The Polar Express, and the 2022 release, Pinocchio.

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Evan Tiwari
Evan is a staff writer at The Mary Sue, contributing to multiple sections, including but not limited to movies, TV shows, gaming, and music. He brings in more than five years of experience in the content and media industry, both as a manager and a writer. Outside his working hours, you can either catch him at a soccer game or dish out hot takes on his Twitter account.