LONDON • Former soccer player David Beckham, famous for both his on-field skills and looks, isn’t too vain to appear 30 years older for a good cause.
In a malaria awareness campaign video, 45-year-old Beckham digitally aged to look like he was in his seventies. He has a full head of gray hair, a bushy beard, and deeply etched lines on his face.
Unsurprisingly, despite wrinkled skin, age spots, and faded tattoos, he still looks dashing like a silver fox.
Malaria No More UK’s one-minute video released on Thursday opens with an old Beckham talking with a message from the future about how the disease was hypothetically eradicated.
As he goes on, the years go by and he is back in the present with the campaign slogan: “Malaria Must Die For Millions To Live”.
The film was shot in a green room with the help of a company owned by Hollywood director Ridley Scott and uses a mix of traditional visual effects and a new proprietary technology called Charlatan.
The face swopping program uses machine learning to bring faces together in real time, allowing Beckham’s face to expand by decades while maintaining its unique features.
As the father of four, Beckham says, “The fight against malaria is very important to me because the disease remains a major death for children and we have the opportunity to change that in our lives.”
Malaria, one of the oldest and deadliest diseases in the world, kills a child every two minutes, according to the World Health Organization.
It is a life-threatening tropical disease that is transmitted by mosquitoes. Most deaths occur in Africa, where 250,000 children die from the disease each year.
Beckham has been with the organization since 2009 and is a founding member of Malaria No More UK’s Leadership Council.
When it started more than a decade ago, he played tennis with tennis champ Andy Murray at Wembley Stadium over the world’s longest mosquito net.