The Fresh Prince is back, and this time he’s a time-traveling assassin.
In the new upcoming sci-fi action thriller Gemini Man, Will Smith stars as an aging gunman who’s being hunted down by his younger self. With anti-aging technology, Smith plays both roles. For one, he’s transformed into the familiar young star that blew up way back in the 1990s.
In some of these initial clips, the de-aging technology isn’t flawless, sort of vaguley stiff and almost too fluid; you can see the visual effects at work, impressive though they are. No matter how it comes together, though, one thing is clear: Will Smith has aged very well.
Also, this is just a first trailer, so it’s likely that the effects will be fine-tuned before the film’s fall release. That is especially likely given who’s at the helm: Ang Lee, two-time Oscar winning director for Life of Pi (which employed cutting edge technology in 2011) and Brokeback Mountain.
The one added tech twist that we can’t fully analyze in the trailer: the film is digitally shot in the extra high frame rate of 120 frames per second. For comparison, standard cinematic frame rate is 24 fps.
Lee used this rate to mixed results in his previous film Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. Critics of 120 fps say that it’s simply too real, and that it looks like a soap opera or a behind-the-scenes feature instead of a cinematic one, like you’re on-set rather than watching the actual movie. Nevertheless, Lee forged ahead to use it again here, so we’ll see if he’s perfected the style and “tech”-nique more.
Co-starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen and Benedict Wong, with a screenplay co-written by Game of Thrones showrunner David Benioff, Gemini Man opens on October 11, 2019.