Last week, a number of outlets reported that Bruce Willis sold his face to a deepfake company called Deepcake, allowing a “digital twin” of himself to be created for use on screen. The only problem is that it’s apparently not true. According to the BBC, the actor’s agent said that he had “no partnership or agreement” with the company and a representative of Deepcake said only Willis had the rights to his face From the report: On 27 September, the Daily Mail reported that a deal had been struck between Willis and Deepcake. “Two-time Emmy winner Bruce Willis can still appear in movies after selling his image rights to Deepcake,” the story reads. The story was picked up by the Telegraph and a series of other media outlets. “Bruce Willis has become the first Hollywood star to sell his rights to allow a ‘digital twin’ of himself to be created for use on screen.” said the Telegraph. But that doesn’t appear to be the case.
What is true is that a deepfake of Bruce Willis was used to create an advert for Megafon, a Russian telecoms company, last year. The tech used in the advert was created by Deepcake, which describes itself as an AI company specializing in deepfakes. Deepcake told the BBC it had worked closely with Willis’ team on the advert. “What he definitely did is that he gave us his consent (and a lot of materials) to make his Digital Twin,” they said. The company says it has a unique library of high-resolution celebrities, influencers and historical figures. On its website, Deepcake promotes its work with an apparent quote from Mr Willis: “I liked the precision of my character. It’s a great opportunity for me to go back in time. “The neural network was trained on content of Die Hard and Fifth Element, so my character is similar to the images of that time.” A representative from Deepcake said in a statement: “The wording about rights is wrong… Bruce couldn’t sell anyone any rights, they are his by default.”