The new Anthony Bourdain documentary, Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain, uses a revolutionary process to reconstruct the late chef and best-selling author’s voice—deepfakes. This new form of technology reconstructs and synthesizes images and voices from existing footage using AI-generated technology. The film employs deepfakes to create a unique documentary experience that gives viewers unmatched access to the life of Anthony Bourdain.

Since its announcement in June 2020, Roadrunner has been celebrated for its innovation and criticized for its implications for digital ethics. To represent Anthony Bourdain’s voice faithfully, filmmakers reconstructed his vocal patterns, speech patterns and other traits from existing footage sources like television interviews, films and films of him going about everyday life. With this data in hand, they used deepfakes namely a Generative Adversarial Network (GAN), specifically the Clotho GAN algorithm to generate an AI-generated version of his voice with all its intricacies present thus creating a replica of his voice. The filmmakers then used these audio clips in the film as if it was coming out of the late chef’s mouth through intense manual labor and editing process that combined all these elements – facial animation along with audio sync – effectively creating lifelike visuals while also providing what seems like an interactive conversation between Brady Hinderhofer (the film’s producer) and Anthony Bourdain himself.

By using deepfakes for this groundbreaking documentary about one of America’s most beloved chefs and personalities, filmmakers were able to capture his personality in an unprecedented way — allowing fans access that would have never been possible without the assistance from this revolutionary technology.

Background on Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain was a renowned chef, author, and television host whose career spanned decades. His popular shows, A Cooks Tour and Parts Unknown, captured his travels through different cultures and their food.

Following his sudden death in 2018, a new documentary has been released that utilizes technological advances to explore Bourdain’s life and legacy. This documentary, created with the help of deepfake technology, brings the late chef to life in a way never seen before.


Anthony Bourdain was a celebrated chef, author, television personality and world traveler. He rose to global fame for his 2000 book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly and his years-long TV travel show No Reservations.

His career in food began at age 17, when he landed a job as an entry-level dishwasher at Jimmie’s Restaurant in Provincetown, Massachusetts. After honing his skills over the following 15 years — including spells as sous chef at La Poisson Rouge restaurant in Manhattan, executive chef of Les Halles restaurant in New York City and ringleader of the US Chef Network — Bourdain transitioned into TV production roles.

Despite working on several different shows since 2002, No Reservations launched him into worldwide acclaim. Bourdain took viewers to notable restaurants worldwide to sample local dishes while discussing cultural differences, politics and international relations with anyone who joined him – from locals to celebrities such as Barack Obama (who famously shared noodles with Bourdain in Vietnam).

He also wrote fiction and non-fiction books such as A Cook’s Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines; Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food; Appetites: A Cookbook; and The Last Days of Anthony Bourdain.

Impact on the food industry

Anthony Bourdain was an American chef, author and television personality who immensely impacted the culinary world. As a champion of global cuisine and diverse cultures, he traveled the world to explore different types of food and production techniques, from homestyle comfort dishes that defined the American palate to cultural classics that showcased the uniqueness of various cuisines. In addition, he introduced flavors from unfamiliar places to global audiences, inspiring many viewers to become more globally informed about food.

Known for his work on CNN’s Parts Unknown and his delicious writing in publications such as The New Yorker, Anthony Bourdain gained worldwide recognition in the food industry until he died in 2018. In 2020, a documentary based on his life was released that featured deepfake technology: digital animation replaced some of Bourdain’s footage with virtual versions capture the essence of the beloved celebrity chef. This innovative technique made viewers feel like they were hearing commentary directly from Anthony Bourdain. Additionally, select friends and family members provided voice-over narration throughout specific segments of the documentary and their recollections about Bourdain’s life.

With its poignant visual storytelling alongside heartfelt interviews about fond memories, this new Anthony Bourdain documentary beautifully highlighted vital aspects about this renowned figure and all he pushed for within local and international food culture.

Production of the Documentary

The new Anthony Bourdain documentary created by CNN, “Anthony Bourdain Voice,” has recently emerged. It uses a technology known as deepfakes to create scenes where Anthony Bourdain appears to be speaking, even though he passed away in 2018.

This article will focus on the production process behind the documentary and how they created convincing deepfakes of his voice.

Creative Process

The creative process of creating the digital representation of Anthony Bourdain in the New Anthony Bourdain documentary was an extraordinary undertaking. The production team used cutting-edge deepfake technology to authentically replicate Bourdain’s appearance and voice from existing footage and audio recordings. Deepfakes are computer-generated models that use artifical intelligence algorithms to accurately create virtual versions of real people.

The production team utilized over 300 clips of existing video footage throughout the film’s making, stockpiling facial expressions and quirks from interviews, press appearances and culinary shows from over two decades. They then took all these clips and ran them through a tailor-made algorithm to generate a virtual replica of the late chef.

To capture his essence on a deeper level and give his character in the documentary a sense of realism, they also had to digitally recreate his iconic voice by isolating individual vowels and consonants from reels of previous recordings as well as publicly released films featuring his commentary. This enabled them to train an AI model designed to match his vocal quality in words or passages they needed for shots missing an audio layer. The humanizing effect and creative editing techniques allowed them to create an authentic visual representation onscreen, bringing Anthony back to life in the documentary.

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New Anthony Bourdain documentary deepfakes his voice

One of the producers of the recently released ‘Anthony Bourdain – Parts Unknown’ documentary, directed by Morgan Neville, revealed a unique tool used in the film: deepfakes. Deepfakes are artificial intelligence-based audio and video technologies that allow users to replicate various forms of media, such as film and television.

The documentary makers employed this technology to create a deepfake of Anthony Bourdain’s voice for some scenes. The team used existing recordings of Bourdain’s voice to create a convincing replica that appears as if he was giving commentary onscreen instead of simply narrating facts or telling stories.

The makers had previously considered hiring an actor to narrate some scenes without audio available. Still, they decided against it to stay true to Anthony Bourdain’s style and presence in their production. Instead, they relied on deepfakes technology to replicate his vocal stylings as faithfully and accurately as possible.

Deepfakes technology has gained rapid traction over the last few years due primarily to its ease-of-use — anyone with access can now create lifelike depictions from virtually any media source with minimal effort, cost and time. It has been used for advertising purposes such as recreating movie lines by famous actors using their original voices. It is even being developed for medical applications such as simulating what conditions may sound like inside our bodies or helping with speech impediments in children or people recovering from strokes.

As the ‘Anthony Bourdain – Parts Unknown’ documentary shows us, deepfakes offers filmmakers innovative ways to bring back beloved characters long after their passing or otherwise absent from projects post-production for one reason or another—resulting in much more realistic visuals than ever before.

Reception of the Documentary

The recently released documentary about Anthony Bourdain, which used deepfakes technology to digitally recreate his voice, has been largely well-received. Critics have praised the production team for the innovative way they have managed to honour the late TV chef and author while creating a unique film piece.

In this section, we will analyze the documentary’s reception and discuss its success.

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Critical Reception

The new Anthony Bourdain documentary that used deepfakes to recreate his voice has received mostly positive reviews from critics. It was praised for addressing the topics of grief and mortality with tenderness and insight. The creative use of deepfake technology to add greater meaning and a heightened emotional connection was highlighted by several critics. Most agreed that it was an effective and sensitive tribute to Bourdain and sensitively handled the difficult subject matter of death.

Other reviewers reported differing opinions, citing the documentary as overreaching to make Bourdain a heroic figure, sometimes glossing over more complicated aspects of his life. Some also criticized the occasionally melodramatic score as distracting from what could have been a powerful cinematic experience without it. However, praise for its poignant themes, unique style, and loving homage to Bourdain’s memory, largely outshone these criticisms.

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Impact on Viewers

The world-famous chef and best selling author, Anthony Bourdain, passed away in 2018. His beloved fans have been heartbroken ever since, but have also held tightly onto the memories of his work, his spirit, and the good portions of life he shared through his hit shows like Parts Unknown on CNN.

The release of a brand new documentary entitled: “Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain” was highly anticipated by fans of the late celebrity chef. The film’s creators used deepfake technology to recreate some of Bourdain’s most memorable quotes to bring him back “virtually” for one final farewell tour. This process has allowed people who did not know him personally to feel connected to him as if they were having one last conversation with their favorite sourdough enthusiast.

The documentary premiered at last year’s Tribeca Festival and has profoundly impacted viewers both young and old. The audience was on an emotional roller coaster as they heard his words alone with the picturesque backgrounds visited during his award-winning show Parts Unknown. Critics cannot express how much people missed seeing Bourdain onscreen and this movie gave them a sense of closure that is tough to find even in powerfully written books about loss. Fans are inspired by what he stood for and continued learning from him as this film showed them some places from across the globe still left undiscovered and unexplored; giving viewers a sense of adventure or curiosity throughout its duration.

This touching moment was incredibly meaningful for everyone who loved (and still loves) Anthony Bourdain. Many stated that they felt a connection with their favorite celebrity figure once more through this innovative movie-making method. Nothing can replace him fully; however, deepfakes allowed faithfulness when it came to recreating experiences that could never be repeated due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control— allowing some semblance between reality and what fans longed for after saying goodbye too soon.


The makers of the new Anthony Bourdain documentary used a mix of available audio material and deepfake technology to create what appears to be the late celebrity chef’s voice. This allowed them to recreate the character of Bourdain for viewers to enjoy despite his passing in 2018. The creative team captured the beloved celebrity’s personality, insights and wit in a manner that remained true to his legacy, yet still remained respectful and mindful.

The use of new technologies such as deepfakes has enabled creatives to explore never before seen opportunities when it comes making and producing meaningful stories. As documentary makers continue grapple with new angles and possibilities, this innovative route taken by Anthony Bourdain’s filmmakers will become an example for many future directors.