The first teaser trailer for Ang Lee‘s Gemini Man set up the basic plot of a man who is confronted by an assassin who looks just like him but 27 years younger. The film will star Will Smith as both the elder assassin and the young operative. Though we have seen de-aging technology being used before, it has garnered mixed results. Most of the time it looks just like CG plastic mask. But it looks like Lee and producer Jerry Bruckheimer are going to great lengths to make sure that isn’t the case here and that it will be a “phenomenal experience for the audience.”
Now Paramount Pictures has released a new featurette that shows that Gemini Man will not have “de-aging” or “face replacement.” Check out the video below.
Visual effects supervisor Bill Westenhofer had this to say about the work done on the film:
“Creating a digital human is one of the hardest things you can do in visual effects. 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.”
WETA VFS Supervisor Guy Williams said:
“It’s his performance. It’s his emotion. It’s his ability as an actor to create this really rich performance and then play off of himself.”
I’ll admit, I was very skeptical about the film given the way the VFX looked in that teaser trailer. However, I recognize that I’ve seen that same trailer on a computer screen. Not exactly the right format for a film. That being said, I am slightly more convinced that it will look a whole lot better in a theater, especially since they’ve got some great VFX artists working on the film. I mean, it doesn’t get any better than WETA.
Here’s the official plot synopsis:
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.
Directed by Lee, using a script written by David Benioff, Billy Ray, and Darren Lemke, Gemini Man opens in theaters on October 11, 2019.