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How Hollywood is giving its biggest stars digital facelifts

Associated Press logo Associated Press 5/29/2017 By LINDSEY BAHR, AP Film Writer
This combination of photos released by Disney, shows the character Jack Sparrow at two stages of his life in "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales." Johnny Depp, who portrays the character, is the latest mega-star to get the drastic de-aging treatment on screen. Lola Visual Effects first captured a performance from the actual actor and then manipulated it. It went through a number of iterations, over the course of six months, to arrive at the perfect age. The final shots, of which there are about 20-25, took about 15 artists a year of work. (Disney via AP) © The Associated Press This combination of photos released by Disney, shows the character Jack Sparrow at two stages of his life in "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales." Johnny Depp, who portrays the character, is the latest mega-star to get the drastic de-aging treatment on screen. Lola Visual Effects first captured a performance from the actual actor and then manipulated it. It went through a number of iterations, over the course of six months, to arrive at the perfect age. The final shots, of which there are about 20-25, took about 15 artists a year of work. (Disney via AP)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Johnny Depp is 53 years old but he doesn't look a day over 26 in the new "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie. There's no plastic surgeon or makeup involved. It's all post-production visual effects and it's becoming commonplace in major Hollywood movies.

This combination of images released by Disney-Marvel shows Kurt Russell portraying Ego in scenes from, "Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2." A company called Lola Visual Effects is responsible for post-production visual effects which show characters as their younger selves. (Chuck Zlotnick/Disney-Marvel via AP) © The Associated Press This combination of images released by Disney-Marvel shows Kurt Russell portraying Ego in scenes from, "Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2." A company called Lola Visual Effects is responsible for post-production visual effects which show characters as their younger selves. (Chuck Zlotnick/Disney-Marvel via AP)

Depp is just the latest mega-star to get the drastic de-aging treatment on screen, joining the ranks of Robert Downey Jr., Kurt Russell and several others getting digital facelifts to play younger versions of themselves.

A company called Lola Visual Effects is responsible for Depp's transformation to his boyish "Cry Baby" and "21 Jump Street" self. The intricate process is a little more involved than the popular FaceApp though. Just a few moments of screen time for young Jack Sparrow took 15 artists about a year to execute.

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