A video shows Tom Cruise jumping over Keegan-Michael Key.
Miles Fisher does a pretty great Tom Cruise impersonation, and with the help of some digital editing, his deepfake videos can be pretty convincing. In 2019, for example, Fisher had some people convinced that the “Top Gun” actor was running for president. In April 2022, another one of Fisher’s videos went viral. This time, the footage supposedly showed Cruise jumping over comedian Keegan-Michael Key.
On social media, many people expressed shock that Cruise (who is 59 and reportedly 5 feet 7) still had the athleticism to jump over Key (reportedly 6 feet 1). However, this is not a genuine video of Cruise jumping over Key but a Cruise impersonator (Fisher) and some visual effects by Chris Ume.
While the “Cruise” in this video is a deepfake, it appears that this video truly features Key. The actor posted this video to his TikTok account with the caption: “Did that really just happen?”
Shortly after this video went viral, a fake Tweet was circulated that seemingly showed how the real Cruise reacted to this video of the fake Cruise.
In addition to the fact that this tweet doesn’t appear on Cruise’s Twitter timeline, you can tell this is a parody tweet from the label in the bottom right-hand corner.
Fisher and Ume have created dozens of deepfake Cruise videos. Here’s another one of their creations, this time showing “Cruise” mopping a floor.
While Fisher and Ume are both very clear that these videos are fake (their TikTok account is called @deeptomcruise, Ume’s account states that he’s a VFX artist, and Fisher has done interviews about his viral content), these videos are often posted outside of their original context and can fool unsuspecting viewers. Fisher said:
“As I find myself the unofficial face of this deep fake movement, it’s important to learn and I’m fascinated by this. This is the bleeding edge of technology … I think we’ve created the first deepfake that’s so realistic, that a large majority of people have seen.”
Here’s a video from Ume that provides a peek into how these videos are created:
Business, Rachel Metz, CNN. “How a Deepfake Tom Cruise on TikTok Turned into a Very Real AI Company.” CNN, https://www.cnn.com/2021/08/06/tech/tom-cruise-deepfake-tiktok-company/index.html. Accessed 15 Apr. 2022.
“Is Tom Cruise Running for President?” Snopes.Com, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/tom-cruise-president/. Accessed 15 Apr. 2022.
“Man behind Viral Tom Cruise Deepfake Videos Calls the Technology ‘Morally Neutral.’” TODAY.Com, https://www.today.com/news/man-tom-cruise-deepfakes-tiktok-speaks-ethics-technology-rcna10163. Accessed 15 Apr. 2022.
Vincent, James. “Tom Cruise Deepfake Creator Says Public Shouldn’t Be Worried about ‘One-Click Fakes.’” The Verge, 5 Mar. 2021, https://www.theverge.com/2021/3/5/22314980/tom-cruise-deepfake-tiktok-videos-ai-impersonator-chris-ume-miles-fisher.