Henry Cavill Cast As James Bond in Incredible Deepfake Viral Video

James Bond fans have been given a first glimpse of what Henry Cavill could look like as the brand new 007 thanks to a scarily good deepfake video posted to YouTube.

The term deepfake refers to a piece of video content in which a digitally animated mask has been applied to the face of one or more of the characters on screen, giving them the resemblance of someone else in the process.

In this instance, the content creator stryder HD opted to apply Cavill's face to that of former Bond actor Timothy Dalton in his two 007 outings The Living Daylights and License to Kill.

It makes for a perfect fit, with the resulting video leaving Bond fans both shaken and stirred.

At the time of writing the two-and-a-half minute clip has amassed more than 200,000 views on YouTube, with 007 enthusiasts backing Cavill as ideal replacement for the outgoing Daniel Craig.

Stephan Robert felt the clip was proof Cavill was "the perfect casting choice," with Club Ackles declaring that "the next James Bond has truly arrived!"

Brett Pritchard thought the deepfake proved he was "absolutely perfect" for the part of 007, while Nqobizitha Jacob Singini felt the video showed why Cavill is "the only person that can do this role justice" after Craig.

Stryder HD, whose real name is Matthew Anthony, has been posting videos on YouTube since 2018. His channel boast 233,000 subscribers, with deepfake videos covering everything from Spider-Man to Squid Game.

Having initially focused on mashups and parody videos, Anthony told Newsweek he moved into making deepfakes after learning more about the technology from other YouTubers, including one he said went on to work for Industrial Light & Magic and Lucasfilm.

Anthony said he was drawn to the technology because of the opportunity it offered to "innovate" and explore "new interesting avenues" on YouTube. He described himself as a "big James Bond fan" and said he began putting this video together amid the ongoing debate over who will replace Craig.

"I thought Dalton had a similar look [to Cavill] and would do the deepfake comparative justice," he said. "I guess it came out pretty well."

This isn't the first time Anthony has explored the idea of Cavill as Bond, having previously put together a deepfake in which the Mission Impossible star swapped places with Pierce Brosnan as 007.

He said that clip "didn't do well in terms of viewership at the beginning" but has received "a ton of views and responses" since speculation over Cavill replacing Craig began to increase. The Cavill/Brosnan deepfake has currently been viewed over 453,000 times.

Anthony attributes the renewed interest to the fact "people are actively thinking about the next Bond" and because fans are unsure of "what's going on" regarding Cavill's future playing Superman.

"People think there's a definite chance he'll be cast as James Bond. I think he would make a pretty great Bond but I also like Tom Hardy and Michael Fassbender for the role."

Anthony said putting together a deepfake video is a process that can take "a few days to a week, if not longer," with many steps involved such as editing, masking, gathering footage and so much more besides.

The potential pitfalls of deepfake video are well documented. Deepfake porn, in which the face of the original adult actor is swapped with that of a celebrity, has become increasingly commonplace while the technology has even been applied to the world of politics, with a video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was previously altered to make her appear drunk.

Anthony acknowledges there are "negative roads" you can go down when it comes to deepfake videos, he thinks that is true of most things.

"I only use this technology for conceptually interesting reasons," he said. "To see a glimpse of someone different playing a specific character in a movie/TV show for entertainment purposes only, and never to impersonate anybody or make anybody look immoral in any way."

Stryder HD's Bond video isn't the first deepfake to cause a stir online, of course. Earlier this year, film fans were treated to the bizarre sight of a video that saw Willem Dafoe replace Julia Roberts as the star of Pretty Woman.

Prior to that, Tom Cruise fans were left stunned after a TikTok account dedicated to posting deepfake videos of Cavill's Mission Impossible co-star surfaced online.

Mission Impossible and Superman actor Henry Cavill.
Henry Cavill at the World Premiere of Netflix's "The Witcher" in London, England in December 2019 - Cavill has been cast as James Bond in a viral deepfake video. David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage/Getty