Rian Johnson’s Looper is quickly becoming one of my most anticipated films arriving in the next couple of years. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is slated to reunite with writer/director Johnson – their third film together, after Brick and a cameo in The Brothers Bloom – to star as a hitman tasked with killing people who are sent back in time. Deadline reports Bruce Willis has joined the cast, but with an interesting twist: Willis will play the future version of Gordon-Levitt’s character.

Seems like an interesting decision, since the two actors don’t bear much of a resemblance to each other. Is it possible there is some sort of face-altering technology in this imagined future, allowing the character to disguise himself ala Face/Off? Anything can happen in science fiction, so we’ll have to see how the differences in looks are addressed when we finally see the film.

After trades like The Hollywood Reporter experienced a bit of confusion regarding the official logline of the film, Johnson stopped by Cinematical’s Movie Club to provide his own synopsis.

‘Looper’ is a time travel movie, set in a near future where time travel doesn’t exist but will exist in a few decades. It’s pretty dark in tone, much different from ‘Bloom,’ and involves a group of killers (called Loopers) who work for a crime syndicate in the future. Their bosses send their targets hogtied and blindfolded back in time to the Loopers, and their job is to simply shoot them in the head and dispose of the body. So the target vanishes from the future and the Loopers dispose of a corpse that technically doesn’t exist, a very clean system. Complications set in from there.”

There has been some trepidation about Johnson’s ability to handle the complex nature of time travel narratives. Fans can obsess over every detail, making sure everything can fit neatly into a timeline (or multiple timelines). Johnson sent his Looper script to Shane Carruth, the writer/director of Primer (one of the most intricate time travel movies ever made) for approval. Even though he has only directed one film, Carruth’s ability to tie up loose ends establishes him as a perfect mentor to filmmakers interested in time travel films. By reaching out to Carruth in order to make sure all of his timelines are in order, Johnson is exhibiting a level of passion and dedication I’m hoping will easily translate to the screen in his final product.

Looper has no release date yet, but filming is expected to begin after Gordon-Levitt finishes work on David Koepp’s Premium Rush.

Source: Deadline; plot summary via Cinematical