Bruce Willis has become the first actor to sell the rights to his likeness to a deepfake company. After testing out the technology for a Russian TV commercial last year, the Armageddon star has reportedly granted the digital firm Deepcake the exclusive rights to create a “digital twin” for future projects.
After 40 years of making films, Willis announced in March of this year that he would be retiring from acting after being diagnosed with aphasia, which has reportedly affected his cognition. With this unprecedented collaboration, Willis can now appear in films for years to come (according to The Telegraph), and the actor said in a statement that he was pleased how the Russian test run turned out. Via Collider:
“I liked the precision with which my character turned out. It’s a mini-movie in my usual action-comedy genre. For me, it is a great opportunity to go back in time.
With the advent of modern technology, even when I was on another continent, I was able to communicate, work and participate in the filming. It’s a very new and interesting experience, and I thank our entire team.”
Willis isn’t the only Hollywood legend experimenting with technology that can recreate performances. James Earl Jones recently announced signed over the rights to his voice to Lucasfilm. The VFX company is now authorized to use Respeecher AI technology to recreate Jones’ iconic Darth Vader voice in perpetuity. Lucasfilm has been experimenting with the tech on The Mandalorian and Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Darth Vader is set to appear in the upcoming Ahsoka series and will presumably use Respeecher to create the Dark Lord’s dialog.