Whilst having a doppelganger at work might sound like an appealing prospect – you could take days off while your twin attends meetings for you and reports to the boss – Jesse Eisenberg doesn’t exactly seem happy when it happens to him in The Double, a new thriller from co-writer and director Richard Ayoade.
The Double is loosely based on the novella of the same name by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (which can be read online, thanks to the University of Adelaide) and Eisenberg plays a man who is driven insane by the appearance of his doppelganger. As you can see from the brand new trailer for The Double, Eisenberg plays his own double through the implementation of camera tricks, but we wouldn’t be the first nor the last to insert a Michael Cera joke at this point.
Set to “Grinnin’ in Your Face” by blues singer Son House, this trailer does not give away much at all about the plot of the film, showing a montage of moments intercut with Simon (Eisenberg) walking along with a grim expression, eventually joined by his double, James. There also seems to be quite a lot of emphasis on the relationship between Simon/James and Mia Wasikowaska’s character, Hannah, who Simon is desperately in love with but lacks the confidence to approach.
Eisenberg won a lot of fans after his portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network and has already had a hit this year with Louis Leterrier’s magic showbiz crime thriller Now You See Me, but The Double will be a real test of his range; not only does he have to play the timid, lonely neurotic Simon, which is similar to a fair number of roles he’s played in the past, but in the same film he also has to play the confident and charismatic ladies man, James.
Director Richard Ayaoade is best known in geek and comedy circles for playing the loveable but socially-maladjusted Maurice Moss in The IT Crowd, and prior to that appearing on other British comedy hits like the surreal series The Mighty Boosh and 70s horror parody Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace. More recently, however, he won acclaim as a director with the BAFTA-nominated comedy drama Submarine - but not so much with his American acting debut in the lackluster comedy The Watch. Ayoade has a solid base of fans, particularly in the UK, and a lot of people are eagerly awaiting the release of The Double.
Tell us what you think of this trailer, and whether or not you believe Eisenberg is the right casting choice for these two roles, in the comments.
The Double is being screened at the Toronto International Film Festival this week, but doesn’t yet have a US release date.