We get two Will Smiths for the price of one in the explosive first trailer for Gemini Man, the new movie from director Ang Lee and producer Jerry Bruckheimer (Pirates of the Caribbean).
Lee, the Oscar-winning film-maker behind Brokeback Mountain and Life of Pi accelerates into action territory with this story of a man battling with himself – literally.
That's because the Will Smith we know and love is pitted against a younger version of himself – Smith again, de-aged via the wonder of modern day CGI technology. If you thought the application of such effects was ambitious in the likes of Ant-Man and Captain Marvel, this takes it to a whole new level, fashioning an entire narrative from the duality of Smith's character.
He plays Henry Brogan, an elite assassin working for a shadowy agency (personified by an unnamed Clive Owen). When his latest assignment proves strangely elusive, able to anticipate his every move, Henry is shocked to learn that the target is in fact himself: sleeker, more youthful and physically superior in every way. Smith himself says the nuances of the story struck an emotional chord.
"The emotional and physical challenges of making this film have been the most demanding of my career," he explains. "Ang is pushing the limits to give people an experience in the movie theater that you can’t get anywhere else. This is not only an action film, but an exploration of what one’s younger self can ultimately teach one’s older self. I’m 50-years-old now, and the irony of becoming 23-year-old Junior in this film is that 23-year-old me wouldn’t have been ready for this experience or to take on this role. Our hope is that this story provides something for everyone – never before seen cinematic wizardry, nuanced, relatable characters and next-level action."
Enough talk – check out the trippy premise in the trailer.
"This story is not one that could have been told with cinema as we know it," says Lee. "However, thanks to incredible new digital technology, not only can we finally see both younger and older Will Smith embodied together on screen, but we can also experience the story in a deeply immersive way. It is my great fortune to be able to experiment and test the limits of what new digital cinema has to offer us. No less so to be able to work with two Will Smiths – one beautifully sophisticated, the other exuberantly honest."
Lee adds: "In my opinion, this is Will at his very best, and when the two come together, it is something truly magical. Further, the immense effort and technical skill of the crew in creating a new aesthetic, between the cinematography, art department, visual effects, and technical team, was both inspiring and heartwarming. I truly hope that this movie delivers a completely new theatrical cinematic experience to audiences across the world."
Has that whetted your appetite? Then note this down: Gemini Man is released in the UK on 11th October. Tweet us @Cineworld if this has suddenly shot up your must-see list for 2019. In the meantime, Smith stars as the Genie in Disney's Aladdin reboot, arriving on 22nd May.