Gladiator 2 extras allege that their likeness was scanned by AI without consent

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Extras on the set of Ridley Scott's Gladiator sequel say their likeness was scanned for AI use.

According to the Times of Malta, where the movie is being filmed on location, several extras were pulled into a photo booth for digital scans that they were told would be used for crowd shots. Some extras claim this was done without permission, while others said they raised their hands willingly.

"They didn’t explain why they were doing this, we thought they were taking us to do another scene," one extra said.

Staff members allegedly took extras in groups of 10 to be scanned for crowd shots.

“Staff told us: 'We will use this to fill in gaps in the crowd,'" one extra claimed, adding that there was no technical explanation or explanation of rights to their own likeness.

“It didn’t really feel like we could say no,” another said, explaining that it all felt very rushed.

Extras were reportedly paid for their work, but given no other explanation on what would happen to their likeness – prompting them to worry whether their AI renderings could show up in other media without their consent.

On September 1, crew member Matthew Maggi allegedly posted to Facebook asking Gladiator 2 extras to come forward, stating that their careers were now in jeopardy because the studios "already own their likeness/identity."

The ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike sees actors asking for protections against AI, so that studios cannot repurpose their likeness – including their voice – without permission. Zelda Williams recently wrote that her late father's voice has been used for several forms of media without consent from the family or from his estate.

For more, check out our list of the most exciting upcoming movies in 2023 and beyond.

Lauren Milici
Senior Writer, Tv & Film

Lauren Milici is a Senior Entertainment Writer for GamesRadar+ currently based in the Midwest. She previously reported on breaking news for The Independent's Indy100 and created TV and film listicles for Ranker. Her work has been published in Fandom, Nerdist, Paste Magazine, Vulture, PopSugar, Fangoria, and more.