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29th Sep 2022

Bruce Willis becomes first Hollywood actor to sell rights to ‘digital twin’

Charlie Herbert

Bruce Willis becomes first Hollywood actor to sell rights to 'digital twin'

The A-lister retired from acting earlier this year following his aphasia diagnosis

Bruce Willis has sold his rights over to a company so they can create his “digital twin”, allowing him to keep appearing in films without actually having to be on set.

Earlier this year, the actor revealed he was living with aphasia and that as a result he would be “stepping away” from acting.

The condition is one that affected how a person communicates and can impact writing, speech and how someone understands spoken language.

Willis has now become the first actor in Hollywood to fully embrace deepfake technology, by signing his image rights to Deepcake, a US firm that makes ‘digital twins.’

This comes after the Die Hard star appeared in a Russian phone advert last year which saw his face being digitally transplanted onto another performer.

He said in a statement: “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.”

He added: “It’s a very new and interesting experience, and I thank our entire team.”

Deepcake aims to become the world’s largest talent agency, bringing actors both living and dead back to the big screen, ITV reports.

CEO Maria Chmir has said discussions are underway to strike similar deals with film studios and the estates of dead stars.

She said: “We create digital twins of celebrities and the actual production process doesn’t require the physical presence of a celebrity on stage.

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

Earlier this year, Willis’ family confirmed in a statement that he’d be stepping back from acting, saying: “We wanted to share that our beloved Bruce has been experiencing some health issues and has recently been diagnosed with aphasia, which is impacting his cognitive abilities.

“As a result of this and with much consideration, Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him.

“This is a really challenging time for our family and we are so appreciative of your continued love, compassion and support.”

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