Bruce Willis may have retired from acting, but he will live on in future films thanks to deepfake technology. According to The Telegraph, the actor has sold his rights for future films and advertising campaigns to Deepcake, a company that creates "digital twins" of famous folks for use in commercial projects.
It's the same kind of tech used in the Star Wars franchise to recreate the younger versions of actors, including Mark Hamill, and to create digital versions of Carrie Fisher after her death. Just last week, James Earl Jones approved the AI recreation of his voice on future projects as he eyes retirement.
In March 67-year-old Willis was diagnosed with aphasia, a language disorder stemming from brain damage that affects comprehension of written and spoken language and communication. By then, reports of his struggle to recall lines and cues had been circulating within the industry for some time.
Engadget reports that Willis worked with Deepcake on a 2021 ad for Russian telecom company Megafon, in which his face was swapped on to that of actor Konstantin Solovyov. Engineers used scenes from Die Hard and Fifth Element to create a likeness of Willis that lives on the company's AI platform. Willis's estate will have final approval on any future projects.
Deepfakes are a new and unregulated area of technology that's already being used nefariously by scammers to spread misinformation. They have also been used to produce pornography without the consent of the subject and overall present a whole host of ethical and safety implications for celebrities and normal folks alike.