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Bruce Willis


Vemsie
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On 31/03/2022 at 15:57, Wiper said:

Really sad news, but for all the talk of him intentionally churning out films for a final payday (completely fair play if so), there's a niggling worry at the back of my mind regarding how much of this was him wanting to do so, and how much was a man with reduced faculties being pushed into working.

 

This was the story I read that brought me here, and some of it just sounds a bit off to me, in terms of his agency/"handler"'s involvement: https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/movies/story/2022-03-30/bruce-willis-aphasia-memory-loss-cognitive-disorder


Yeah, that’s a pretty grim read. Reminds me of the coverage a while back concerning a visibly exhausted Stan Lee signing autographs for hours on end. I expect it was easy enough to sell Willis on making some money before he retired, whereas their real concern was to wring the last drops of cash out of him before he left their books. 

 

 

2 hours ago, Simmy said:

Looking back at interviews from a few years ago you can sense something wasn't quite right :(

 

 

Makes you wonder how gradually this condition has progressed. Would explain why Willis apparently became more unpleasant to work with over time, which people took as arrogance and entitlement, whereas on Die Hard he knew practically all the crew by name. 

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It certainly explains a lot about his performance on Glass, where he genuinely seemed perpetually confused and as if he'd walked in off the street.

 

My wife's grandpa died of Dementia - 30 years older than Willis but still - and reading that article was very reflective of much of our experiences with him in his last decade or so.

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I don't know - bit hard to distinguish a disinterested interview from one he was incapable of engaging in. Here's a video from two years later than that where he seems lively and on form, and perfectly capable of reading the questions upside down which I presume would be rather difficult if his condition was advancing at that point:

 

 

He (or his people) may have ramped up the pace of his cash-in efforts in the last couple of years in response to knowing what was happening but his career was already in steep decline nearly ten years ago - he stopped appearing in films with theatrical releases entirely around 2015. I think that, say, back around 4-5 years ago - when the above videos originated - it's most likely that he was accepting projects because they were all he was being offered, and not yet in a desperate bid to top up the savings.

 

It's obviously very sad what's happened to him now, and also if he's been exploited in any way in the last couple of years, but I think it was a separate earlier (and, of course, more minor) tragedy what happened to his career after the likes of Looper.

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I have to confess that Bruce Willis' later career confuses me a bit, as I don't quite get why he started making all those terrible DTV films. He seems to have started doing this in the late noughties, and switched over more or less permanently to making landfill action films from around 2014, but his career seemed relatively healthy for an aging tough guy actor up until then. If anything, he seemed to be in better shape than most of his eighties and nineties contemporaries, as he had a fair bit of credibility from making films like Pulp Fiction, 12 Monkeys, Sixth Sense, etc. He made mostly thrillers and actions films, but it was acknowledged that he was a decent actor too. He seemed primed to make something like Copland or 

 

The last few "proper" films he made were Moonrise Kingdom, Looper, Expendables 2, GI Joe 2, Red 2, and Sin City 2. So a lot of sequels, but some decent films too, and none of them were complete disasters apart from Sin City 2. He seems to have occasionally resurfaced to make more interesting stuff like Motherless Brooklyn. None of it seems like career-killing stuff.

 

The recent announcement of his condition makes a kind of sense, and I guess he could have gotten some kind of diagnosis of his condition around then and decided to cash out while he could, but he seems to have switched almost exclusively to shite around 2014, which seems like a long time ago. You would have thought he could have done better than making DTV action films at that point; if he wanted to just say "fuck it" and reel in as much money as possible, you would have thought a couple of Die Hard sequels would have been more lucrative. Maybe people just didn't want to work with him, as he sounds like he was very difficult around that time.

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2 hours ago, K said:

The recent announcement of his condition makes a kind of sense, and I guess he could have gotten some kind of diagnosis of his condition around then and decided to cash out while he could, but he seems to have switched almost exclusively to shite around 2014, which seems like a long time ago. You would have thought he could have done better than making DTV action films at that point; if he wanted to just say "fuck it" and reel in as much money as possible, you would have thought a couple of Die Hard sequels would have been more lucrative. Maybe people just didn't want to work with him, as he sounds like he was very difficult around that time.

I imagine part of the balance was the relative effort needed for the DTV action shite compared to full blown big movies. He got 1-2 million for a DTV action film and did 2 days work (apparently). 10 of those in a year and he has 20 million and 20 ish days work. Do a Die hard film for 20 million and it is much more filiming commitment plus press junkets and promotional work.

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Yeah, and from what i can see, these DTV are real low effort roles where he's basically just reading off a cue card often just over a telephone communicating with the other actors, rather than face to face acting. It's quite possible that he couldnt manage a full action film, the above isnt going to wash in a die hard film for example.

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It feels almost morbid in saying it, but it would be fascinating to understand more of his decision making over the last 10 years or so. I don't recall when he started being known for being a bit difficult and it may or may not tie-in with his condition, but as @K says, his shift to low-rent stuff was a long time ago now.

 

You have to wonder if people still really wanted him as a leading man, too. Perhaps he was viewed as being outdated, as people like the Rock and Jason Statham became bigger stars and action heroes went back a bit to 'big men with muscles'. 

 

Like I say, it would be interesting to know more about it all. 

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On 10/04/2022 at 00:35, hmm said:

I don't know - bit hard to distinguish a disinterested interview from one he was incapable of engaging in. Here's a video from two years later than that where he seems lively and on form, and perfectly capable of reading the questions upside down which I presume would be rather difficult if his condition was advancing at that point:

 

 

 

Watch that again, it's cut to pieces.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 4 months later...

I can't really fault Bruce Willis for going down this route in order to keep an income going.

 

https://collider.com/bruce-willis-sells-rights-to-deepfake-firm-deepcake/

 

Quote

Action movie legend Bruce Willis has just become the first Hollywood actor to sell his rights to the possibility of a "digital twin" to the US firm Deepcake, according to The Telegraph. With the use of deepfake technology, Willis has offered his likeness to be used onscreen for future projects, following his first experience with the digital media manipulation in a commercial for Russian phone service, MegaFon, last year.

In 2021, Willis gave permission to Deepcake in order to appear in a commercial, allowing his face to be "digitally transplanted onto another performer." Now, the actor has officially sold the rights to his likeness to be essentially "hired" by Deepcake for future productions.

 

 

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Not wanting to sound mean, but does this mean that future Bruce Willis films will have much-improved performances?

 

EDIT: the most obvious first project for digital Bruce Willis would be a Die Hard prequel surely?

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Firstly, 

4 minutes ago, IcEBuRN said:

I thought they were still having trouble with voices at the moment though?

 

James Early Jones has given his voice to AI so they can continue to use it in the future.

 

Not really sure about this "future" full of AI voices and likenesses.

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1 hour ago, DarhkFox said:

Firstly, 

 

James Early Jones has given his voice to AI so they can continue to use it in the future.

 

Not really sure about this "future" full of AI voices and likenesses.

Maybe not in our lifetimes but there will surely come a time where they could feed every film they can find into an AI that examines the story, dialogue, cinematography, pacing, directorial style etc and generate a new feature based on tweakable parameters, in a similar way to how AIs can generate faces now. Not sure what that has to do with Bruce Willis though.

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1 hour ago, Vimster said:

Maybe not in our lifetimes but there will surely come a time where they could feed every film they can find into an AI that examines the story, dialogue, cinematography, pacing, directorial style etc and generate a new feature based on tweakable parameters, in a similar way to how AIs can generate faces now. Not sure what that has to do with Bruce Willis though.

https://www.rllmukforum.com/index.php?/topic/118360-bruce-willis/&do=findComment&comment=13715151

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Hmm, having watched the advert that Deepcake produced using Bruce's likeness, and other shots from that link, they don't seem particularly proficient in Deepfake. I've seen better amatuer videos on TikTok.

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On 30/09/2022 at 23:18, Hanzo the Razor said:

 

I very much doubt that he had anything to do with this.

 

On 30/09/2022 at 23:59, Steven said:

 Now that the ink's dry, Deepcake will now introduce their plans to go exclusively into adult film production.

 

On 01/10/2022 at 03:58, Tempy said:

Hmm, having watched the advert that Deepcake produced using Bruce's likeness, and other shots from that link, they don't seem particularly proficient in Deepfake. I've seen better amatuer videos on TikTok.

 

Yeah, there might be something dodge here.

 

https://in.ign.com/movie/174908/news/bruce-willis-rep-says-actor-did-not-sell-his-image-and-likeness-to-ai-firm

 

Quote

Deepcake, a company that creates AI-powered fakes of celebrities, was purported to be working with Willis so that his likeness could be used in movies in the future. However, Willis’ rep told Yahoo Entertainment that the actor has “no partnership or agreement” with it.

 

I'm sure Deepcake will now stump up footage showing "Willis" completely agreeing to the deal.

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Is Bruce Willis really popular in Russia? It just seems a bit coincidental that Deepcake (a Russian company) announced this deal and the advert they did with his likeness was for a Russian telco. I guess there was also that shit Die Hard film set in Russia and RED had a big segment in Russia.

 

Maybe the plan was for Bruce’s likeness to appear in some Russian films, but then Ukraine happened.

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The Eastern European (and beyond) sponsorship market is very similar to the image of Japanese advertising in the 80's and 90's, where it turns out a bunch of well known (or more likely, slightly past it...) celebrities do advertising for various brands as the commercials rarely find their way onto the American channels. Anecdotally speaking, there's a definite demand that I've seen for old school action heroes in the Central to Eastern European former Soviet states, their stars burn brighter than in their home nations. For Willis in particular, he's been the face of Hell Energy (a Hungarian energy drink company) for almost half a decade now, and the adverts never fail to make me laugh with their lazy quotes from him. Down the road from me is a Potraviny (corner shop) with a big image of Bruce hawking it in the window, proclaiming "Energy, Taste, Power!". Better yet is the quote they have on their official website, with an awkwardly photoshopped-looking Willis announcing "Now this I Like!". However, with the news of the last few months, the press release from February has aged like milk:

 

https://www.hellenergy.com/who-says-bruce-willis-doesnt-look-good-in-red-2/

 

Last line - "Bruce Willis, who is still in excellent form, has recently discovered a new favorite in the HELL portfolio, FOCUS, which he says he often consumes while studying film scripts"

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On 02/10/2022 at 15:22, Cheyenne said:

The Eastern European (and beyond) sponsorship market is very similar to the image of Japanese advertising in the 80's and 90's, where it turns out a bunch of well known (or more likely, slightly past it...) celebrities do advertising for various brands as the commercials rarely find their way onto the American channels. Anecdotally speaking, there's a definite demand that I've seen for old school action heroes in the Central to Eastern European former Soviet states, their stars burn brighter than in their home nations. For Willis in particular, he's been the face of Hell Energy (a Hungarian energy drink company) for almost half a decade now, and the adverts never fail to make me laugh with their lazy quotes from him. Down the road from me is a Potraviny (corner shop) with a big image of Bruce hawking it in the window, proclaiming "Energy, Taste, Power!". Better yet is the quote they have on their official website, with an awkwardly photoshopped-looking Willis announcing "Now this I Like!". However, with the news of the last few months, the press release from February has aged like milk:

 

https://www.hellenergy.com/who-says-bruce-willis-doesnt-look-good-in-red-2/

 

Last line - "Bruce Willis, who is still in excellent form, has recently discovered a new favorite in the HELL portfolio, FOCUS, which he says he often consumes while studying film scripts"

I think a lot of those stars that did Japanese adverts had it contractually agreed that they would never been seen in the US/outside of Japan (I seem to recall Sean Connery also stipulated not in Scotland either when he was doing some whiskey?) It was very, very lucrative work back too, I believe.

 

As for Willis, it's very sad what happened to him. Whilst he seemed to turn into a grump on-screen in most stuff from about the mid-90s (and lacked a lot of that bad-boy charm he displayed in Moonlighting), to continue to have to do all these little cameos (presumably to pay for treatment?) - and especially if he gets confused and stuff on-set - is horrible and not a great way to spend his final years in the business.

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