Tim Burton has seen the AI recreations of his work proliferating the internet — and it's creeping him out.
Back in July, BuzzFeed published a piece depicting AI interpretations of what Frozen's Elsa and The Little Mermaid's Ariel would look like if Burton had directed their films — spoiler: it made their eyes bigger and skin paler. In a new interview with The Independent, Tim Burton called the practice "disturbing."
"I can't describe the feeling it gives you," Burton said of BuzzFeed's blasphemies. "It reminded me of when other cultures say, 'Don't take my picture because it is taking away your soul.'"
He continued, "What it does is it sucks something from you. It takes something from your soul or psyche; that is very disturbing, especially if it has to do with you. It's like a robot taking your humanity, your soul."
Amy Sussman/Getty Images Tim Burton at the Golden Globes in January 2023
Burton isn't the only director with a distinct style who's recently been imitated by AI. Wes Anderson has also been a target of such memes, and told The Times of London in June that he doesn't even look at the ripoffs.
"If somebody sends me something like that I'll immediately erase it and say, 'Please, sorry, do not send me things of people doing me,'" Anderson said.
Besides, who needs digital imitations when both filmmakers remain so prolific? Anderson has two new films out this year (Asteroid City and the upcoming The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar), while Burton will be working on season 2 of Wednesday and Beetlejuice 2 after the ongoing Hollywood strikes wrap up.
"I don't want to see too much of someone else thinking about what I try to be because, God knows, I could then start doing it," Anderson said.
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