So Disney just released the trailer for Artemis Fowl, the film based on the novel series, and it looks pretty good. But there’s something…a bit off.
If we turn out to be wrong, so be it, but Ferdia Shaw looks like, well, a virtual character. A quick Google search shows that this is his very first film, and there are even people on social media claiming to know him, one of whom even claims to be related to him. But if this kid is real, then the producers did something to this actor to make him look…well, a little CGI compared to the other actors.
We know that Alita: Battle Angel was a hit and the first step toward making virtual actors a success, but in that case the character had exaggerated features to reduce the “uncanny valley” feeling. But with this trailer, which again, is quite good as a children’s action, fantasy film starring Colin Farrell, Josh Gad, and Judi Dench.
After a bit more Googling, it looks like this kid is indeed real and is listed as the grandson of Robert Shaw, of Jaws fame. Still, Disney did something to the footage here, for some reason, and it you look closely, it seems like you’re watching a video game character at times.
If we’re totally off, fine. Maybe the kid just has great skin and is a bit stiff because he’s still working on his acting chops. But the technology has reached a point where it’s only a matter of time before a major studio tries to slip a virtual character past us only to tell us the truth after we’ve fallen in love with the “actor.” This may not be it, but it’s coming.
Directed by Kenneth Branagh, Artemis Fowl is set to hit theaters on May 29.
Cover image via Walt Disney Studios/YouTube