Dual, Riley Stearns' Doppelganger Dark Comedy Starring Karen Gillan, Gets Acquired By RLJE Films

Perhaps you've read our own Ben Pearson's fabulous review of the upcoming film "Dual," which he saw at the virtual Sundance Film Festival. If not, you should give it a read. It will get you hyped for the film that has just had its U.S. rights sold to RLJE Films in a competitive bid. The film was part of the Sundance US Dramatic Competition and stars Karen Gillan ("Guardians of the Galaxy," "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle") and Aaron Paul ("El Camino: A Breaking Bad Film," "Westworld"). I'm giving you the synopsis right away because the conceit is fascinating:

Dual is about a woman (Gillan) who, upon receiving a terminal diagnosis, opts for a cloning procedure to ease her loss on her friends and family. When she makes a sudden and miraculous recovery, her attempts to have her clone decommissioned fail and lead to a court-mandated duel to the death.

Makes you shudder a bit, doesn't it? The film also stars Beulah Koale ("Hawaii Five-O") and is directed and produced by Riley Stearns.

Two of a Kind

I love speculative science. I'm also very glad that I won't be around to see anything like this. Cloning your dog is one thing, and this is quite another. Clones are a horrifying prospect, despite the benefits they may bring. (Also despite my constant wishing for one when my workload overwhelms me.) The idea reminds me of the 2010 film "Never Let Me Go" with Keira Knightly, Carey Mulligan, and Andrew Garfield. Except, you know, with sword fights.

"Dual" is also produced by XYZ Films and Resolute Films and Entertainment. "'Dual' was a film we were targeting from the beginning of the Sundance Film Festival and it exceeded our expectations," said Mark Ward, RLJE Films' Chief Acquisitions Officer. "We are happy to be working with our partners at XYZ Films yet again and can't wait to release the film later this year."

"Shooting 'Dual' with XYZ during a global pandemic will forever be an experience I look back on with a tremendous amount of pride," said Stearns. "I'm beyond thrilled to enter the next stage of this journey with the team at RLJE Films and I can't wait for audiences to see a film which we all deeply care for."

XYZ films is known for "The Raid" franchise, which is one of the best in the martial arts film genre, and "Mandy, starring Nicolas Cage. Coming in 2022," XYZ has "Piggy," based on award winning short from Carlota Pereda, and "Something In the Dirt" from Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead.