There are many people out there who don't enjoy their job, but for Simon James (Jesse Eisenberg) things get really unbearable when a new employee called James Simon (Jesse Eisenberg) shows up and starts invading all areas of his life, and even has the audacity to look exactly like him.
In The Double, an adaptation of the Fyodor Dostoyevsky novel co-written and directed by Richard Ayoade (Submarine), the timid and under-appreciated Simon is baffled, enraged and intrigued by the appearance of his doppelganger - though not necessarily in that order. The first full trailer for The Double has just been released, and provides a neat outline of the plot, the characters, and Simon's dilemma.
Previous trailers for The Double have focused on style over exposition, but the latest trailer seems to geared more towards a mainstream audience than fans of the offbeat indie genre that it clearly belongs to. The tone of this trailer is notably humorous and pretty light-hearted, although the overwhelming critical consensus on The Double is that it's a very bleak and depressing breed of dark comedy.
The supporting cast includes Chris Morris, a satirist known for controversial fare like news parody show Brass Eye and terrorist comedy Four Lions, who is briefly glimpsed in this trailer playing an army official. Other recognizable faces in this trailer are Wallace Shawn (The Princess Bride), Mia Wasikowska (Stoker) and Ayoade's The It Crowd co-star Chris O'Dowd.
The most frustrating aspect of Simon's situation is that no one aside from him is able to see the resemblance between himself and James, despite the fact that they even wear the same slightly oversized suit. There definitely appear to be elements of surrealism in The Double, and the description of its style as "Terry Gilliam meets Wes Anderson" seems pretty apt.
The Double's upcoming release will no doubt attract those who enjoyed Ayoade's first feature film, as well as comic book fans who want to see Eisenberg flex his antagonist muscles before he takes on the role of Lex Luthor in Batman vs. Superman.
The Double is out on limited release in the US on May 9, 2014.