Watch 'Silence of The Lambs' Starring Willem Dafoe and Gillian Anderson Thanks to This Deepfake

1991's The Silence of the Lambs is already as perfect as a movie can be—one of only three movies in the history of cinema to sweep the "Big Five" Academy Awards, for Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress and Adapted Screenplay. While primarily following the FBI's hunt for a serial killer named Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine), at the movie's center is the peculiar friendship that develops between FBI trainee Clarice Starling, played by Jodie Foster, and scholar-cannibal Hannibal Lecter, played by Anthony Hopkins. But what if history had run a different course, with Willem Dafoe and The X-Files actor Gillian Anderson replacing the iconic duo?

A new deepfake by video maker Ctrl Shift Face offers a glimpse from this parallel world:

You can compare this latest deep fake to the original Silence of the Lambs with the trailer above.

"Deepfakes are windows to parallel universes," the video's creator Ctrl Shift Face says on their Patreon, describing deepfakes as an "AI driven face swapping method utilizing deep neural networks."

Coming Later

— Ctrl Shift Face (@ctrl_shift_face) February 14, 2020

Combining the machine learning concept of "deep learning"—which uses automated networks modelled on the relation between neurons in animal brains to autonomously process large data sets in interesting new ways—with, well, "fake" stuff, deepfakes can be trained to flawlessly replace one likeness with another. In this case, ctrl shift face has opted for an alternate cast in one of The Silence of the Lamb's most crucial scenes.

29 The Silence of the Lambs - MGM
Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter in 'The Silence of the Lambs.' MGM

The new deepfake, titled "Willem Dafoe as Hannibal Lecter [DeepFake]," repurposes Starling's first encounter with Hannibal the Cannibal, in his cell at the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane. There, Starling hopes to gain insight into the Buffalo Bill murders from the imprisoned serial killer, who was a renowned psychiatrist before he was captured.

The scene includes some of the most famous lines from the landmark horror movie, still delivered in Anthony Hopkins voice, but with Willem Dafoe's face.

"A census taker once tried to test me," Willem DaHopkins as Hannibal Lecter says. "I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti."

While the recasting of Dafoe as Hopkins reflects The Wild at Heart and The Lighthouse actor's renown as a creator of creepy and eccentric characters, Anderson in the role originated by Foster hews a little closer to reality. Anderson's most famous role, FBI agent Dana Scully on The X-Files, was directly inspired by Starling, according to The Truth Is Out There: The Official Guide to The X-Files, by Brian Lowry and Sarah Stegall.

Anderson also shares another connection with Hannibal Lecter in a different adaptation of the Thomas Harris novels from which The Silence of the Lambs was adapted. In the TV series Hannibal, which ended in 2015 in its third season, Anderson plays Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier, Lecter's personal psychiatrist.

One of the most iconic characters in horror movie history, also portrayed by Brian Cox and Mads Mikkelsen, can now be anyone of us—the deepfakes are cannibalizing all the faces.