Die Hard actor Bruce Willis has retired from film. At 67-years-old, the actor left the industry behind after being diagnosed with aphasia, a brain condition that affects communication.
Despite this, the actor may be seen on screen again. However, he will be represented by an AI-powered digital twin instead.
AI Bruce Willis
Partnering with AI company Deepcake, Willis has sold his entire likeness to be used in films and video. This means that the actor’s face and voice will return in whatever films the AI company wishes.
Reported by The Telegraph, Willis agreed to sell his likeness following a test video that was created. The “mini-movie” was pitched to the actor, and he was impressed with its quality.
“I liked the precision with which my character turned out,” He said. “It’s a mini-movie in my usual action-comedy genre. For me, it is a great opportunity to go back in time.”
Deepcake has not revealed how it plans to use Willis’ likeness. However, the actor’s last few years of acting have seen him become a major player in straight-to-streaming movies, particularly ones funded by China.
“With the advent of modern technology, even when I was on another continent, I was able to communicate, work and participate in the filming,” Willis continued. “It’s a very new and interesting experience, and I thank our entire team.”
Not new to Deepfakes
Of course, Bruce Willis isn’t actually new to the concept of deepfake technology. Just last year, the Die Hard actor signed on to have his likeness used by a Russian telecommunications company for an advertisement.
Parodying the actor’s movies, a digital Willis was tapped on a boat with a bomb ticking down. However, his mobile phone ended up saving him. Yes, classic advertisement trollop.
Just last year, only Willis’ likeness was used via deepfake technology. However, the actor’s voice will also be paired with his digital face for future media appearances.
Of course, this is still a weird gray area for acting. Deepfake performances still don’t look correct, adding an uncanny valley effect that many notice. Furthermore, will directors really want a virtual Bruce Willis in their movies?