Recently in the media, including The Telegraph, reports appeared that Bruce Willis has become the first Hollywood actor to sell the rights to his virtual appearance in movies and marketing projects to Deepcake. Instead, in a statement given to The Hollywood Reporter‘s the actor’s representative said he has no partnership or agreement with the company.
A representative for Deepcake confirmed to THR that the rights to Willis’ digital likeness cannot be sold because they belong to the actor by default. In 2021, the company created a digital doppelganger of him for advertising campaigns, and any further use of the likeness will depend on the decision of Bruce Willis himself.
In 2021, Bruce Willis appeared in a commercial for the Russian mobile operator Megafon. At the same time, the actor never personally visited the set, and his digital double was used in the video. This approach could contribute to the new appearances of Willis in the cinema because the 67-year-old actor announced the end of his career due to health problems. Therefore, perhaps we will still see a digital version of Bruce in new projects.
Deepfake is a method of synthesizing a person’s image, which is based on artificial intelligence. At the beginning of the war, the Center for Information Security warned Ukrainians about the possibility of the Russians using a deepfake of Volodymyr Zelensky, a virtual copy of which was supposed to announce the capitulation of Ukraine in the war with Russia, which later happened, but the quality was extremely low.
It is interesting that Deepcake, although registered in the USA, is a company with Russian founders and, accordingly, may be connected to Russia itself. Hollywood actors should be more careful with cooperation with similar firms because we all know well how the Russians are able to create disinformation.