Trailers and TV spots for the sci-fi thriller Looper (which releases later this month) are big on the exposition, with star Joseph Gordon-Levitt explaining how time-travel has been invented, outlawed, and taken control of by crime syndicates in the late 21st century. There, mob heads use the morally-dubious technology to send targets back thirty years back in time – where hired guns (aka, “Loopers”) await to kill them and dispose of their bodies, thus removing any trace of evidence.
We have a featurette that offers more insight into the perks that come with being a professional assassin who specializes in time-displaced targets. These well-paid mob employees get to enjoy, as costar Emily Blunt describes it, a “sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll kind of existence,” – but not without consequence.
Looper reunites Joseph Gordon-Levitt with Rian Johnson, the writer/director behind JGL’s indie breakout flick, Brick. However, in order to play a Looper who believably ages into (and, in the film, is required to kill) Bruce Willis, Levitt donned facial prosthetics and adapted a voice closer to the seasoned action star. Levitt’s altered appearance is all the more unsettling when he’s seated opposite Willis at certain moments during the movie.
The tricky nature of the Looper lifestyle – even when they’re not attempting to assassinate their future selves, like Levitt’s character – is something Johnson has promised is explored with a fair amount of detail. The filmmaker likes the idea of a character study through a sci-fi/time-travel lens, as “[These stories] always seem to come back to these big moral questions. The ‘would you kill Hitler’ questions. And they are just very good at making you confront questions like that.”
Joseph Gordon-Levitt in ‘Looper’
Johnson’s film has the advantage of being an original mix of heady sci-fi themes, raw violence, and risque material that landed the film an R Rating. Levitt, however, indicates Looper is an antidote to mindless shoot-em-ups, since its protagonist must examine how much his violent actions, in fact, beget more violence – and, as the actor has put it, “nothing ever ends up solved that way.”
The Looper cast is rounded out by such people as Paul Dano (There Will Be Blood), Noah Segan (Brothers Bloom), and Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom). Look for the film to reach theaters on September 28th, 2012.