Digital de-aging has become the hot new trend in Tinsel Town over the last few years. As digital effects grow increasingly sophisticated, the line between what is and is not possible for films to accomplish has become practically nonexistent.
Where once a young and lucky River Phoenix was catapulted to stardom by landing the coveted role of a young Indiana Jones in a flashback at the start of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, studios now opt to simply de-age the actor playing the role and allow them to fill the part. On the one hand, this offers greater consistency between portrayals. But on the other hand, the effect has to not be jarringly noticeable in order for the scene to work.
With the recent news that both Samuel L. Jackson and Clark Greg will spend the entirety of the '90s-set Captain Marvel being de-aged by a couple of decades, audiences can expect to be seeing a lot more of this effect in the future.
So let's take a look at the history of digitally de-aging actors; the good, the bad, and whatever that atrocity was in the opening of X-Men: The Last Stand.