Bruce Willis Refutes Claims He Sold Likeness For Deepfake Technology
Bruce Willis' representatives have denied that his likeness rights have been sold.
Bruce Willis has denied reports that he sold the rights to his likeness to a deepfake company. Last week, the internet was abuzz with rumors that the actor authorized the creation of a digital twin to appear in projects following his illness-related retirement from acting. But in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, a representative for the 67-year-old said he has “no partnership or agreement with this Deepcake company.”
In general, deepfakes use artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to create realistic videos of celebrities or politicians. For actors that can no longer work, the technology has the potential to be game-changing. However, a publicist for Deepcake told the publication that the rights to Bruce Willis’ likeness can’t be sold as they belong to him by default. The spokesperson added that their involvement with the star was set up through his management at Creative Artists Agency.
Deepcake’s spokesperson also explained that the company previously created a digital twin for Bruce Willis in 2021. But its use was specifically intended for an advertising campaign, and any future use of the likeness would be up to the Die Hard alum. The site prominently features quotes from the action star about the commercial which aired in Russia for mobile phone carrier MegaFon
“I liked the precision of my character,” Bruce Willis said in a mini testimonial on the Deepcake site. He added that filming the commercial was a great opportunity to go back in time. The AI’s neural network was trained on content from Die Hard and The Fifth Element, so the character in the advert is similar to the images from that time. However, the confusion about his likeness ownership proves just how new this technology is, and the lack of clear rules around it.
Meanwhile, Bruse Willis’ family posted a statement to The Hollywood Reporter in March, announcing that the star would be stepping away from acting after being diagnosed with aphasia. In advanced stages, the illness limits a person’s ability to understand or express speech. And sadly, it has impacted the star’s cognitive abilities. The family added that they appreciate everyone’s continued love, compassion, and support at this difficult time.
Bruce Willis has had an incredible acting career since his small screen debut in the 1980s comedy-drama series Moonlighting opposite Cybill Shepherd. Over the years, he has appeared in over 70 films, gaining widespread recognition as an action hero following his portrayal of John McClane in the Die Hard franchise. Then for about two decades, he dominated the box office with hits like Armageddon, The Fifth Element, The Sixth Sense, and The Whole Nine Yards.
Although his star has faded due to roles in various direct-to-video action films, Bruce Willis is still a cinematic icon. His roles in M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass in 2019, Eli Roth’s Death Wish remake in 2018, and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For in 2014 are a shining testament to his acting ability. Although he may have stepped away from acting, he still has a few movies set for release. This includes American Siege, Gasoline Alley, A Day to Die, Corrective Measures, Fortress: Sniper’s Eye, Vendetta, White Elephant, Wrong Place, and Wire Room.