'Gemini Man' Featurette: Double The Will Smith, Double The Fun

What happens when your greatest enemy turns out to be yourself from 27 years ago? That's the premise of Ang Lee's upcoming action thriller Gemini Man, and Will Smith is the assassin caught in the middle of it all.

The teaser trailer for Gemini Man did a good job of setting up the basic premise, something that we've seen play out with a variety of sci-fi concepts, ranging from time travel to clones. Now, a new Gemini Man featurette shows how they're duplicating Will Smith and giving us a version of the actor we haven't seen on screen since the 1990s. Will Smith plays both the 50-year old assassin Henry Brogan and Junior, the 23-year old assassin who looks just like him and just happens to have been assigned to kill him.

Gemini Man Featurette

Visual effects supervisor Bill Westenhofer makes sure to set the record straight in how they're creating a younger version of Will Smith. He says:

"This is not de-aging. This is not face replacement. What you see for Junior is a completely digital creation and 100% driven by Will Smith's performance."

The shots of young Will Smith in this featurette already look much better than those that we saw in the teaser trailer, which was something that probably stifled the excitement that some people might have otherwise had. And while the intrigue isn't necessarily there as far as the plot is concerned, the quality of the visual effects does make me less hesitant.

Outside of Gemini Man, Will Smith believes that this technology that allows for an impeccable re-creation of his younger self is going to change how movies are made. That might be true for blockbuster filmmaking, but the visual effects required to pull this off are extensive and expensive. It's not likely that a studio is going to spend millions on this tech to get a younger version of an actor or actress to start in a comedy or romance, so this will be something that will likely only change big budget movies (at least until the technology gets cheaper and easier to produce).

Gemini Man is an innovative action-thriller starring Will Smith as Henry Brogan, an elite assassin, who is suddenly targeted and pursued by a mysterious young operative that seemingly can predict his every move.

The film is directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Ang Lee and produced by renown producers Jerry Bruckheimer, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Don Granger.  Also starring are Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen and Benedict Wong.

Gemini Man arrives in theaters on October 11, 2019.