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Bruce Willis has become first Hollywood actor to sell rights to 'digital twin'

Aisha Nozari

Published 
| Last updated 

Bruce Willis has become first Hollywood actor to sell rights to 'digital twin'

Featured Image Credit: LANDMARK MEDIA / REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo

Earlier this year, Bruce Willis announced he’d be ‘stepping away’ from acting following an aphasia diagnosis.

A disorder that affects how a person communicates, aphasia impacts writing, speech, and how someone understands spoken language.

And although Willis didn’t mention the diagnosis when he confirmed this week that he’d sold his rights, allowing his ‘digital twin’ to be used on screen, it would allow him to keep appearing in films without actually being on set. 

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Earlier this year, Bruce Willis announced he’d be ‘stepping away’ from acting following an aphasia diagnosis. Credit: Sydney Alford / Alamy Stock Photo
Earlier this year, Bruce Willis announced he’d be ‘stepping away’ from acting following an aphasia diagnosis. Credit: Sydney Alford / Alamy Stock Photo

Willis is the first Hollywood actor to fully harness deepfake technology in this way, and the move comes after the actor appeared in a phone advert via the synthetic media - with his face being digitally transplanted onto another performer. 

The A-lister has now allowed Deepcake - a US firm that makes ‘digital twins’ - to use his face.

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. 

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“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.”

Earlier this year, Willis’s 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. 

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Willis is the first Hollywood actor to fully harness deepfake technology in this way. Credit: MegaFon
Willis is the first Hollywood actor to fully harness deepfake technology in this way. Credit: MegaFon

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

And last month, Willis’s wife Emma spoke candidly about the 'paralysing' grief she felt following her husband's diagnosis.

To mark National Grief Awareness day, Emma also uploaded a video of herself taking part in ‘new hobbies’ she’d picked up on Instagram.

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The clip also showed Emma spending time with one of her and her husband’s daughters.

She wrote: “This was the summer of self discovery—finding new hobbies, going out of my comfort zone and staying active. My grief can be paralysing but I’m learning how to live alongside it.”

The doting mum concluded: “As my step-daughter Scout Willis told me, grief is the deepest and purest form of love. I hope you find some comfort in that too."

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected] 

Topics: News, Celebrity, Bruce Willis

Aisha Nozari
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