Bruce Willis becomes first actor to sell the rights to his likeness to deepfake company

Bruce Willis deepfake in MegaFon advert
(Image credit: MegaFon)

Bruce Willis has become the first actor to sell the rights to his likeness to be used for deepfakes. The recently retired star sold the rights to his image to US company Deepcake, which makes "digital twins" (via The Telegraph (opens in new tab)).

The actor's image was recently used in a commercial for Russian mobile phone operator MegaFon (opens in new tab), with Willis starring alongside Russian actor Azamat Musgaliev without ever appearing on set. 

In a statement on Deepcake's website, Willis said: "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. It’s a very new and interesting experience, and I thank our entire team."

This technology has recently been used – to varying critical and fan reception – in TV shows like Star Wars spin-offs The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett, in which a younger version of Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker was added into the series using deepfakes.

Willis' family announced his retirement from acting earlier this year following a diagnosis of aphasia, a disease that affects expression and comprehension of language. His on-screen career spans nearly 40 years and he's starred in over 100 movies, including three Die Hard movies, Pulp Fiction, 12 Monkeys, and The Sixth Sense

For more deepfake usage, The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett are streaming now on Disney Plus. If you're already up to date, check out everything we know so far about The Mandalorian season 3

Entertainment Writer

I’m an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections. I help bring you all the latest news and also the occasional feature too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.