Before the reveal of his aphasia diagnosis and retirement from acting, Bruce Willis was the most prolific movie star on the planet. He famously knocked out eight films in 2021 alone, and there have thus far been ten more this year alone, all of which you can find at your local Redbox.
It wasn’t until his disorder became public that we realized why he was cashing in on these so-called “geezer teasers” — low budget straight-to-video action films sold on his name. Afterward it seemed clear he was making hay while the sun was shining, building a nest egg for his family while he still could.
Well, it turns out… he may be able to keep making these kinds of movies indefinitely. According to a shocking new report from The Telegraph, Bruce Willis has become the first movie star to sell his digital rights to a deepfake company. The tech firm, Deepcake, can now legally use special effects to create a “digital twin” — putting the 67-year-old’s likeness onto another actor. Audiences have seen similar effects for the past few years as actors have played dual roles or been de-aged. But recreated completely? That’s very recent but not unprecedented; in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, another actor was digitally replaced with the likeness of the long deceased Christopher Lee.
Video: Kevin Smith Breaks Down On Stage Revealing He’s Burying The Hatchet With Bruce!
In that case the rights were unclear — and a lot of folks were upset by the ghoulish idea of bringing deceased film stars back from the dead to act in movies they never agreed to. This is the first time it’s official. Bruce has sold Deepcake the rights to continue to help studios make “Bruce Willis” movies forever.
He worked with the company last year to act in a series of commercials for Russian phone service MegaFon. His face was “digitally transplanted onto another performer” named Konstantin Solovyov — meaning Bruce himself never had to show up to set or learn any lines.
He said of his experience in a statement on Deepcake’s website:
“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.”
He was satisfied enough with his “digital twin” that he’s willing to let Deepcake continue recreating him. The digital process reportedly takes 3-5 days. As we said, it’s likely just going to be action films. It doesn’t seem like the process will allow for enough depth of emotion for any of Bruce’s more emotional work, like The Sixth Sense or Moonrise Kingdom.
If you’re worried about Bruce’s image being tarnished after his passing, his estate will reportedly have to sign off on any new project. But yes, it does sound like we’re talking about seeing new “Bruce Willis” movies coming out even after his passing.
What do YOU think about this strange new world that has such… “people” in it?
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