Swan Song Trailer: Mahershala Ali Gets Cloned In Heady Apple TV+ Sci-Fi Film

The idea of exploring doubles, doppelgängers, or clones in film is a grand sci-fi tradition that almost always leans in the direction of tense, disturbing thrillers. 

Denis Villeneuve's "Enemy," Duncan Jones' "Moon," and Alex Garland's "Annihilation" are only three relatively recent examples of this trend (nobody wants to sit around and listen to me listing off every one of these movies over the years, because that's how you get me started on the underrated nuances of 2013's "Oblivion"), but this year's "Swan Song" seems to be taking a vastly different approach altogether. 

Apple TV+ just released a new trailer for "Swan Song," and it certainly looks to be surprisingly understated and emotional. Check it out below.

Swan Song Trailer

How far would you go to spare your loved ones from grief? What's the true cost of mortality? Audiences don't tend to gravitate towards movies that feel like thesis statements, but that's exactly why the heightened world of sci-fi has always been perfect ground to explore these sorts of weighty and existential questions. Oh, and having an actor with as much gravitas as Mahershala Ali to lead the cast and play dual roles certainly doesn't hurt, either. The synopsis for "Swan Song" makes its mission statement abundantly clear, describing the story as:

Set in the near future, Swan Song is a powerful, emotional journey told through the eyes of Cameron (Mahershala Ali), a loving husband and father diagnosed with a terminal illness who is presented with an alternative solution by his doctor (Glenn Close) to shield his family from grief. As Cam grapples with whether or not to alter his family's fate, he learns more about life and love than he ever imagined. Swan Song explores how far we will go, and how much we're willing to sacrifice, to make a happier life for the people we love.

"Swan Song" comes from writer and director Benjamin Cleary, making his feature film debut and announcing himself on his biggest platform yet with a flourish through such impressively philosophical and thought-provoking footage. Of course, an interesting-looking trailer is only the beginning. If casting Ali as the dying Cameron Turner and his healthy clone wasn't already a strong start, backing him up with a cast that includes Naomie Harris as his wife Poppy, Awkwafina as family friend Kate, and Glenn Close as the doctor who champions this unconventional plan in the first place is practically a coup.

"Swan Song" will arrive in theaters and begin streaming on Apple TV+ on December 17, 2021.