Ranking Every De-aging Movie Effect Ever

12. Patrick Stewart/Ian McKellen (X-Men: The Last Stand)


In the first-ever recorded attempt of this kind of de-aging technology, X-Men: The Last Stand tried it out for their opening sequence. And with such groundbreaking and potentially medium-changing technology at play, who better to carefully and efficiently deliver the precision necessary than noted auteur, Brett Ratner?

As Stewart's Professor X and McKellen's Magneto go to visit a young Jean Grey, the film opted to utilize the tech in an attempt to allow the same actors the chance to still play the roles. And while that's certainly admirable, the CGI work is not.

The results are horrifying to look at, especially because Ratner has no shame or modesty. The sequence opens on an extended shot which forces the audience to look at Stewart's CGI face for way too long and only gets worse from there. The primitive work done here is a far cry from the more nuanced and sophisticated de-agings modern audiences have grown accustomed to, basically just digitally erasing the actors' skin on their faces, leaving nothing but shiny and plastic-looking surfaces.

The producers behind the X-Men films in the mid-2000s also get bonus points for apparently feeling that this effect was so convincing that they used it again on poor Patrick Stewart, in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

Captain Jean-Luc Picard deserves better than this.


A film enthusiast and writer, who'll explain to you why Jingle All The Way is a classic any day of the week.