Gemini Man is one of those notorious Hollywood projects you hear about. While it sports a cool sci-fi premise, it has actually spent a full 20 years on a shelf, unable to ever make it through the development process. Now it seems that the industry is ready to take another crack at it, as Will Smith is now in talks to star.
The Hollywood Reporter has the scoop on this news, adding that Ang Lee is also currently in negotiations to take the helm of the thriller. The story, which originates from screenwriter Darren Lemke (Goosebumps) centers on an aging assassin who is ready to get out of the game for good. Unfortunately, this plan is interrupted by the fact that there is a clone of himself running around that wants him dead. Making matters worse, the clone is a full 25 years younger than him and at his peak strength.
Being 20 years old, Gemini Man has seen many actors attached to star - but originally the approach to making the film was very different. Unlike this new take, which will see Will Smith play both the aging protagonist and younger clone, the original idea was to have two different actors for the parts (a la Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis in Looper). At one time it was going to star Chris O'Donnell and Harrison Ford, and at another there was a vision of the project with Mel Gibson and Clint Eastwood.
While the film was originally set up at Disney, but it's been at Skydance since 2016 - with the production house believing that technology is now at a place where Gemini Man can be done properly with a single star. Now it looks like they've found that single star in Will Smith... and possibly a director in Ang Lee who has won two Academy Awards (Brokeback Mountain, Life of Pi).
One curious thing about this project is how it will handle the age of the characters. Will Smith is currently 48 years old, so does that mean that his clone will be 23 years old? (think second season of Fresh Prince of Bel Air Will Smith). Or could it possibly age him up to 60 years old, and have him doing battle with his 35 year old self? (think Enemy of the State Will Smith). I wouldn't be surprised if the latter approach is taken - particularly in protection of the film taking a minute to get the gears moving.
Gemini Man sounds like an intriguing concept, and with the talent that is expressing interest, it definitely has our attention. We'll have more for you on this project and Will Smith/Ang Lee's potential deals as updates come in. Hit the comments section below with your thoughts on what you'd like to see from the film.
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NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.