Blockbuster cinema’s current love for de-aging effects continues, as Will Smith is set to battle his younger self in Ang Lee’s new sci-fi Gemini Man.
Fans got the chance to take a first look at the Life of Pi director’s new thriller with a trailer, released today, in which Smith’s elite assassin is pursued by a mysterious operative who turns out to be a younger version of himself.
The film also stars the likes of Clive Owen, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Benedict Wong.
Footage from Gemini Man recently premiered at the CinemaCon event and received an ecstatic reaction from those in attendance.
In a statement accompanying the trailer, Lee said the film represents “Will at his very best” and added that “when the two [characters] come together, it is something truly magical”.
The 64-year-old director has become synonymous with advanced special effects work since he won the Oscar for Best Director in 2013 for Life of Pi.
His previous film was 2016 drama Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, which was the first feature film to shoot in 120 frames per second – five times the standard rate of 24fps which is familiar to cinemagoers.
The extensive de-aging work on Smith is his latest act of technological boundary-pushing and, based on the trailer, the effect is receiving mixed reviews.
That young Will Smith CGI in GEMINI MAN is, uhhhhh pic.twitter.com/waZ4ivkrzm
— Chris 💫 (@ChrisRogers1138) April 23, 2019
If there's anything worse than a Will Smith movie, it's a 2 Will Smith movie!
— The Lennox Click (@MarksherryMs) April 23, 2019
Ang Lee directing a movie where 90's Will Smith faces off against 2019 Will Smith, just hook it to my veins https://t.co/Bdp6VW9Ub6
— Mike Finnerty (@MikeCJF) April 23, 2019
— 𝚎𝚍𝚍𝚒𝚎 (@edmachina) April 23, 2019
Smith has found himself at the centre of another CGI controversy in recent weeks as fans have criticised the design of his take on the genie in Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin remake.
Early glimpses of the character were ridiculed on social media, and have continued to tickle the funny bones of film fans with each subsequent trailer.
Smith will be hoping that Gemini Man will help people to forget some of his more poorly reviewed recent films, which have seen his leading man power wane.
Gemini Man will be released in cinemas in October 2019.