“A Killer Paradox” Director Admits To Using Deepfake Technology To Create Son Suk Ku’s Viral Lookalikes 


Netflix’s K-Drama, A Killer Paradox, adapted from the Kkomabi’s Webtoon of the same name, garnered attention for the uncanny resemblance of one of its lead actors and his child counterparts.

When one accidental killing leads to another, an average college student finds himself stuck in an endless cat-and-mouse chase with a shrewd detective who will stop at nothing to capture him.

— Netflix

Son Suk Ku

Child actors previously went viral for being AI-level “clones” of detective Jang Nan Gam, played by Son Suk Ku (also known as Son Seok Koo). The tweet below went viral with 8.7M+ views at the time of writing, pointing out Son Suk Ku and child actor Kang Jee Seok’s resemblance. OP (Original Poster) imagined the director must have been ecstatic upon discovering a young actor who looked so much like Son Suk Ku.

손석구 아역 보자마자 감독 이거지예 소리쳤을 듯 pic.twitter.com/aOjen7PkKe

— 취향 (@loverdramas) February 9, 2024

I bet the director went, ‘F*CK YEAH!’ as soon as he saw Son Suk Ku’s child actor.

— @loverdramas/Twitter

Yet, this resemblance was not entirely natural.

Child actor Kang Jee Seok appeared in Episodes 7 and 8 as the middle school version of Son’s character, Jang Nan Gam. Another child actor, Jang Ji An, appeared as the youngest version of Son Suk Ku’s character. Both received attention for their resemblance to Son. Netizens even resurfaced Son Suk Ku’s own childhood photo to show just how alike these young actors looked to him.

#AKillerParadox #Ep7 Jee Seok took on the role of “Young Nan Gam” as the middle school version of actor Son Suk Ku’s character.

— @Jeeseok_fm/Instagram

Actor Jang Ji An as the young Jang Nan Gam. | Netflix Son Suk Ku’s childhood photo. | theqoo

Netizens were in awe of the resemblance of the three actors. It was so unbelievable that some wondered if it was actually CGI or AI (Artificial Intelligence).

| theqoo “The child actors look AI-made because of how close the resemblances are.” “Daebak! Haha.” “Are we sure Son Suk Ku didn’t birth them? LMAO.” “It’s like Son Suk Ku from the past traveled time.” “Whoa… The three of them look so much alike.” “Wow, the resemblance is uncanny!” “HUH?!” “I would not be surprised if the three of them were related and hang out over the holidays. LOL.” “Wow. I gasped out loud.” “So the younger versions were not CGI…?” “Wow, haha.” “WTF?! They look exactly the same! Like, I’ve seen so many cases when the child actor looks like the grown-up actor, but when they act in a scene together, the resemblance fizzles. But this…?! This is real.” “Even if the two child actors didn’t have any acting experiences, I’m sure the director would’ve made the casting happen. Because the resemblance is uncanny AF. Haha.” “Wow. LMAO.” “I see the resemblance for sure. Haha.” “Whoa, what is going on?! They look the same!”

Well, this theory was correct.

Director Lee Chang Hee confessed that CG technology was used for the younger versions of its actors, including not only Son Suk Ku but even supporting roles Lim Se Joo as Choi Gyeong Ah and Kim Yo Han as Roh Bin.

The acting was done by a child actor, and the face was created by collecting Son Seok-gu’s childhood photos and adding CG technology. We also implemented this for the past photos of the character Gyeong Ah and the Roh Bin child actor.

— Lee Chang Hee

From left: Lee Chang Hee, | Korea JoongAng Daily

Lee Chang Hee explained the process in a recent interview with Xports News and Korea JoongAng Daily. The director admitted that deepfake technology was, in fact, utilized to create the young versions of Son Suk Ku’s character.

A child actor played [Son Suk Ku’s part] and the face was recreated by collecting photos of Son when he was younger and adding special effects – ‘deepfake’, to be precise – to it. We didn’t have many photos of him when he was younger, so we drew image models.

— Lee Chang Hee

The director also revealed that the process was expensive, costing a significant amount of the series’ budget, but he felt it was worth it. He considered deepfake “necessary” “for the sake of reality.” However, it was a tradeoff because, due to its usage, the childhood scenes resulted in a shortage of dialogue.

Lee Chang Hee | NEWS1

According to Merriam-Webster, a deepfake is “an image or recording that has been convincingly altered and manipulated to misrepresent someone as doing or saying something that was not actually done or said.” Deepfakes are one of the most controversial forms of AI as it’s been used for many harmful purposes, such as sexually explicit images/videos of celebrities.

Deepfakes have garnered widespread attention for their potential use in creating child sexual abuse material, celebrity pornographic videos, revenge porn, fake news, hoaxes, bullying, and financial fraud. The spreading of disinformation and hate speech through deepfakes has a potential to undermine core functions and norms of democratic systems by interfering with people’s ability to participate in decisions that affect them, determine collective agendas and express political will through informed decision-making. This has elicited responses from both industry and government to detect and limit their use.

— Wikipedia

Now, when you look at Son Suk Ku and Kang Jee Seok side-by-side, they don’t look as much alike as viewers initially thought. Still, there was enough resemblance that AI technology was not necessary.

In an interview, the child actor’s mother acknowledged that she knew deepfake tech would be applied. However, she and her son had mixed feelings about it. She admitted, “I know synchronization is very important, but is it necessary to put it on my son’s face?” She added, “My son even said, ‘I don’t think that’s me’.”

Upon discovering the news, netizens were shocked and disappointed. Many feel deepfake technology is unnecessary and “scary,” stating it results in an “uncanny valley” and even disrespects young actors.


#greenscreen while it may look cool AI generated inages can easily be indistinguishable from the real thing like what do u mean the child actor is AI?!? #akillerparadox #netflix #ai #aigenerated #deepfake #tech #techtok #kdrama #kdramafyp #kpop #kpopfyp

♬ original sound – Kimchi Cakes

AI has become increasingly more of a concern for the entertainment industry as actors fear their replacement by technology. Read more below.

Netflix Does Not Pay Korean Actors Residuals For Their Shows—Insiders Expose Unjust Conditions

 He believed it was necessary “for the sake of reality.” 

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