After some 20 years in development hell, the sci-fi thriller Gemini Man has finally been given a firm release date. The director and the lead role have all been decided, but it'll still be some time before you can expect to see it at your local theater.
While sharing the same name with the old 1976 NBC series about a spy making himself invisible with a watch (remember that?), this was an original project that has been around since the '90s. The basic concept is sturdy enough and can be summarized simply: The world's best assassin is getting old and unreliable, so his bosses decide to eliminate him by creating a younger and stronger clone, and task it with exterminating the older model. Simple in its elegance, it has nonetheless been sitting on a shelf since first being pitched to Disney back in 1997 by Darren Lemke, with the premise of Tony Scott directing. After no progress for years, the project suddenly sparked into life again during April when Ang Lee was tapped to direct the film. Not only that but merely days later it was reported that Will Smith was in talks to star as the titular character.
Related: Will Smith to Star in Gemini Man
Now the film has been given even more of a bump, with Deadline reporting that Paramount Pictures has dated the movie for October 4, 2019. Admittedly this date is so far in advance that there are currently no other major studio releases in the same window, but at least it's a step forward in terms of realizing the long-gestating project. Especially as Lee and Smith are still attached to the filming of it.
One previous factor that has continually halted development in the past has been the quality of special effects needed to depict the title character fight against himself. With the level of effects today, this is no longer an issue of course. Very recent productions like the Fargo TV series have pulled that off with ease. But it has to be said that since the inception of the plot, the notion of an old vs young version of the same character isn't quite that fresh anymore. Arguably films like Looper and Logan have used the very same idea in pretty neat and original ways.
But this still has every chance of being a great action movie with a difference. The older Gemini is the kind of role that Smith can play effortlessly, and it's highly likely that he could pull off a younger version (presumably with CG enhancements) just as well. Although Lee is more associated with dramas like Life of Pi and Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, his work on Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon proves he can handle complicated action sequences. So unless there are any further hitches, we'll put that October date in our diaries and keep you up to date with any further developments on the film.
Gemini Man will be released on 4th October, 2019