Paramount has unveiled the first official trailer for Gemini Man from acclaimed director Ang Lee. Will Smith stars as Henry Brogen, an aging assassin seeking to exit his career, who finds himself going against a younger clone of himself who can predict his every move.
The film feels very much akin to Rian Johnson’s Looper, which utilized a similar narrative of a young man meeting himself in a sci-fi setting. But instead of Joseph Gordon Levitt, Emily Blunt, and Bruce Willis, the rest of the cast for Gemini Man features Mary Elizabeth Winstead (who beat out both Tatiana Maslany and Elizabeth Debicki for the role) Clive Owen, Benedict Wong, Linda Emond, Ralph Brown, and Theodora Miranne.
Check out the trailer for Gemini Man below, which features another modern-day trailer staple – the slowed down cover of a popular song. In this case, we get a quasi-haunting version of “Forever Young”:
So the elephant in the room is obviously the de-aging technology. This has become a new frontier in filmmaking over the past decade. Disney has been at the forefront of this technique when they had TRON return to screens three decades later in TRON Legacy with a very rubbery Jeff Bridges. Marvel has since upped the ante with numerous attempts to de-age many actors. Everyone from Michael Douglas in Ant-Man to Kurt Russell in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Captain Marvel proved you can have it for a whole movie and have it be thoroughly convincing.
However, as per Lee’s previous movie, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, Gemini Man will be in 3D at 120 frames per second and 4k resolution. The gamble of shooting a movie at five times the normal frame rate didn’t exactly signal box office revenue nor critical praise as many complained the hyper-real footage looked more like a video game. Lee is committed to making 120fps a new usable tool in filmmaking. There may be an issue when it comes to the added factor of a de-aged character on the screen in 120 frames-per-second. Anything beyond 24fps tends to yield the soap opera effect, and while the high frame rate was touted for Billy Lynn, it didn’t exactly catch on. Even in the trailer, which runs at 24fps and 1080p, you get the notion that the effect of the cinematographical process will hinder the digital work at play in this movie. While Ang Lee has certainly earned the benefit of the doubt, here’s hoping Gemini Man will see the director return to his cutting-edge visionary prowess as he did in Life of Pi. Paramount will probably roll out the film’s highest presentation in small doses but look for Gemini Man to hit normal frame rates in almost all theaters.
A sizable sizzle reel was unveiled for attendees at CinemaCon, the annual trade show for theater owners, last month. Both Lee and Smith attended. Smith explained the new technology saying, “I’m 50 years old now, and I don’t know that I would have had the experience to play a 23-year-old me [earlier in my career].” Lee later joked that “If you’re a director and you get to work with Will Smith, you should consider yourself lucky — and thanks to new technology, I get two.”
Gemini Man, based on a concept by Darren Lemke, was originally sold to be produced by Walt Disney Pictures along with Don Murphy to produce and Tony Scott to direct in 1997. The film then went through multiple director’s hands at the studio including Curtis Hanson and Joe Carnahan. Lemke’s screenplay has since been rewritten by Bill Ray, Andrew Niccol, David Benioff, Brian Helgeland, Jonathan Hensleigh and the writing team of Stephen J. Rivele & Christopher Wilkinson. That’s right. No fewer than 7 passes for Gemini Man.
You can check out the poster for Gemini Man below, which finds Will Smith starring down his younger self. It also gives off some serious Drake’s “Nothing was the Same” vibes.
Gemini Man is scheduled to be released on October 11, 2019.