Keanu Reeves reveals unusual CGI clause in his contracts

Actor recalled an incident in his earlier career that pushed him to make the amendment

Inga Parkel
Thursday 16 February 2023 16:30 GMT
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Keanu Reeves has his grievances with the power of CGI, so much so that years ago, he added a clause to his contracts stating his performances couldn’t be manipulated without his consent.

With the use of AI technology becoming increasingly prevalent in filmmaking, it has brought into question the ethics of digitally altering performances.

“I don’t mind if someone takes a blink out during an edit,” the John Wick star told Wired in a new interview. “But early on, in the early 2000s, or it might have been the Nineties, I had a performance changed. [He won’t say which.]

“They added a tear to my face, and I was just like, “Huh?!” It was like, I don’t even have to be here,” Reeves recalled.

When asked if he later put a clause into his contracts prohibiting post-production edits to his performance, he confirmed: “Yeah, digitally.”

In 2021, Die Hard’s Bruce Willis made headlines when he was deepfaked into Russian telecom commercials.

Deepfakes are synthetic media in which a person’s face or body is replaced with someone else’s likeness.

“What’s frustrating about that is you lose your agency,” Reeves said of deefakes. “When you give a performance in a film, you know you’re going to be edited, but you’re participating in that.”

Keanu Reeves in ‘The Matrix Resurrections'
Keanu Reeves in ‘The Matrix Resurrections' (Warner Bros)

He continued: “If you go into deepfake land, it has none of your points of view. That’s scary. It’s going to be interesting to see how humans deal with these technologies.

“Technologies are finding places in our education, in our medicine, in our entertainment, in our politics, and how we war and how we work.”

Reeves can next be seen reprising his titular hitman in John Wick: Chapter 4, which will release in cinemas on 24 March.

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