Will Smith plays an aging hitman who faces off with his younger clone in the trailer for Ang Lee's sci-fi film, Gemini Man. The project has been in some stage of development since 1997 and, at one point, was slated to be directed by the late Tony Scott. Several other writers and filmmakers have worked on Gemini Man since then, but the script's never really been the problem. Rather, the real issue was always the technology needed to create a realistic young CGI clone of the main actor.
Of course, the Oscar-winning Lee's never been one to shy away from a technical challenge, much less a genre that he hasn't fully worked in before. The filmmaker dabbled in sci-fi on 2003's Hulk and has tried his hand at both 3D (Life of Pi) and high frame rate moviemaking before (Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk). He'll be tackling all three with Gemini Man, which is getting its marketing up and going just in time for the start of the summer movie season.
Paramount showcased the first footage from Gemini Man at CinemaCon this month and their presentation was an immediate success. Those in attendence expressed their astonishment at the high frame rate visuals and especially the technology that allows Smith to meet his Bad Boys-era self in the movie. While the effects won't be completely finalized until Gemini Man arrives in October, they're looking pretty dang impressive in the trailer alone. See for yourselves in the space below, then check out the official poster.
Smith stars in the film as seasoned assassin Henry Brogen, but the Gemini Man trailer is told from the perspective of his clone, "Junior". As seen here, the latter is sent on a mission to kill Henry by his boss, Clay Varris (Clive Owen), but struggles to do so and finds himself wondering why his target seems able to anticipate his every move. Of course, the answer sends "Junior" spiraling into an existential crisis and questioning everything from the purpose behind his mission to his very nature and sense of self.
It's a fascinating premise, all in all, and taps into some of the same themes (like duality) that Lee previously explored in Hulk. Smith already seems to be doing a good job of making Henry and "Junior" feel like two distinct characters in the film, and the de-aging CGI effects really are something to behold here. Between Gemini Man, Samuel L. Jackson shedding twenty years for Captain Marvel, and Martin Scorsese de-aging much of his cast for The Irishman, 2019 is shaping up to be a truly landmark year for the technology in general.
Source: Paramount Pictures
- Gemini Man (2019) release date: Oct 11, 2019