Deepfake Technology Will Allow Bruce Willis to Return to Cinema

Hollywood star Bruce Willis has licensed his image to a technology company that has made a “digital twin” of him to be used in future movies.

Engineers at Deepcake have created an “ultra-realistic” version of the Die Hard actor who sold his rights to the Delaware-based company.

“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,” Willis says in a statement on the company’s website.

“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’ twin has already debuted in the below advert for Russian telecoms giant Megafon where understudy Konstantin Solovyov was the reference for the star’s face to be masked on.

The 67-year-old announced his retirement from acting in March this year after he was diagnosed with aphasia, which affects a person’s speech and language. He appeared in over 70 films including Die Hard, Armageddon, and Pulp Fiction.

Co-starring Charlie Chaplin and Kevin Hart

Deepcake has said that it is under discussion to strike similar deals with others actors, alive and dead. It hopes to be the biggest talent agency of its kind, bringing iconic players back to the silver screen.

“We create digital twins of celebrities and the actual production process doesn’t require the physical presence of a celebrity on stage, Deepcake CEO Maria Chmir says.

“It means comics like Charlie Chaplin and Kevin Hart can interact in one frame now.”

While Willis is the first Hollywood actor to announce his digital twin publicly, it is alleged that other celebrities such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Carey, and Michelle Pfeiffer have virtual versions of themselves.

As the Telegraph notes, while deepfakes are a potential danger to society, for Hollywood actors it opens up the possibility to star in films even after they are dead.

At the 2012 Coachella Festival dead rapper Tupac Shakur performed alongside Dr. Dre, and similarly living and dead actors could theoretically appear in the same movie together.

Update 10/11: After publication, Bruce Willis’ agent denied reports that the film star has sold the rights to his image. A spokesperson for the actor said there had been “no partnership or agreement” with the company.