The first footage from Ang Lee's Gemini Man stunned audiences at CinemaCon this afternoon. One of the things that stood out from the footage was Will Smith's aging, or lack of it. The movie utilizes the de-aging technology to make Smith 23-years old to play the part of Junior. However, he really doesn't look all that much older than 50-year old Smith without the technology. With that being said, the footage was reportedly gorgeous and gave a quick glimpse of Smith as a younger hitman who learns that he's actually on the hunt for his older self.
The Gemini Man footage showed Will Smith's two characters meeting each other with guns ready to go. Junior says, "They made you, from me. They chose you because there's no one like you or me." The scene was pretty intense and the CinemaCon audience was blown away by the visuals. Ang Lee admits he is still tweaking the movie and estimates he has about another month left before he is completely done, which is right on time for the fall release date.
Will Smith could not make it out to CinemaCon due to his commitments to making Bad Boys 3 at the moment. But, he did send out a lengthy video message, which went into how challenging it was to complete Gemini Man. As it turns out, the movie isn't just going to be some crazy action movie. Smith explains.
"The emotional and physical challenges of this film were really insane for me, but the guidance from and collaboration with the incredible Ang Lee we have managed to shoot something that has never been done before. It's an action adventure, but also an exploration of the idea of what one's younger self can teach one's older self. I'm 50 and the irony of becoming the 23-year-old Junior is that the 23-year-old me wouldn't have had the experience level to take on this role. It's a marriage of nuance, relatable characters with some crazy action also."
Will Smith went on to say he believes he is a much better actor today than when he was 23-years old. He says in Gemini Man, "We get down to the essence and innocence and he performs from there. The result is heartbreaking," when referring to his 23-year old self and Junior character. Smith was able to get to know himself better while making the movie, which sounds like a pretty intense process of reflection for the 50-year old actor who has accomplished so much in his lengthy career.
Ang Lee also spoke about Will Smith's acting chops in Gemini Man, noting he "brought so much character, such sophistication, melancholy, and courage," to the role. After hearing about the footage and how deep Will Smith went in order to get the character down, it sounds like Gemini Man is going to be a pretty big hit. We'll just have to see how it does when Paramount releases it on October 11th.