Bruce Willis Denies Selling His Face to Deepfake Company

The actor and the AI company both told the BBC that they have "no partnership or agreement"

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Oct 3, 2022

He's just an ordinary man: Bruce Willis has denied rumours that he sold his image to deepfake company Deepcake to (sort of) continue his acting career, after announcing his retirement earlier this year.

Last week, the Daily Mail reported that Willis had become the first major Hollywood star to sell their likeness to an AI company — a deal which apparently went down shortly prior to the actor learning of his aphasia diagnosis.

Willis's "Digital Twin" went on to appear in a commercial for Russian telecommunications company Megafon last year, and the rights to his image were reportedly licensed for use in future film projects (though the actor's estate would have final say on what he'd appear in).

On Deepcake's website, Willis is quoted as saying, "I liked the precision of my character. It's a great opportunity for me to go back in time. The neural network was trained on content of Die Hard and Fifth Element, so my character is similar to the images of that time. With the advent of the modern technology, I could communicate, work and participate in filming, even being on another continent. It's a brand new and interesting experience for me, and I grateful to our team."

Now, both Willis's agent and a representative for Deepcake are shutting down the rumours, telling the BBC that they have "no partnership or agreement."

"Please know that Bruce has no partnership or agreement with this Deepcake company," Willis's agent told the outlet. Deepcake added in a statement that reports that it was now the proud owner of Bruce Willis's face were not quite the case.

A representative for the company clarified that the actor had given them "his consent (and a lot of materials) to make his Digital Twin," but they had not been authorized to use his likeness in any other projects beyond the 2021 commercial. "The wording about rights is wrong," they said, adding: "Bruce couldn't sell anyone any rights, they are his by default."

Though Deepcake claims to have a unique library of high-resolution celebrity doubles, as demonstrated by the confusion here, there are definitely still (deep) kinks to work out with this burgeoning new technology — which Kendrick Lamar recently employed in his "The Heart Part 5" video, and bamboozled Justin Bieber into trying to start a fight.

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