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What Drew Gemini Man’s Filmmakers to the Action Thriller

Starring Will Smith, Gemini Man tells an original story about a retired assassin, Henry Brogan, whose clone, Junior, is sent to take him out. The film employs innovative technology, including cutting-edge special effects that allowed Smith to play both Henry and the younger Junior. Yet, like every film, Gemini Man began with a script. At the press conference for the film, Smith, director Ang Lee, and co-star Clive Owen spoke about what led them to sign on to the movie.

Lee said that when he learned about Gemini Man, he immediately felt a sense of ownership. But before he considered the technology that would have to be utilized to make the movie, he connected with its exploration of cloning and the experience of what it would be like to meet a younger version of yourself. “I just feel I’m old enough to deal with this stuff, like looking back.” Lee explained. “All this philosophical stuff hit me first.”

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Of course, that wasn’t the only reason to do the film though. Lee said he next realized, “what kind of fun we’re gonna have.” Plus, after previously directing movies like Hulk and Life of Pi, Lee felt that “in my head [the technology for Gemini Man] is within reach.” However, he added, “I know with a human face you’re playing with fire… It’s pretty scary, but at the same time, it’s pretty exciting.”

Smith was also fascinated by the themes the Gemini Man script grappled with. “You know I loved the philosophical idea that we all plant the seeds of our own destruction, like we are our own worst enemies” Smith said. “I just thought it was a really clever and creative way to say that we are the architects of our ultimate rise or fall…. It’s a big part of why I love science fiction because you can put those things under really wild visual landscapes.”

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Owen added that Gemini Man is “full of action, it’s a great premise, it feels like a huge movie but it’s also about characters and it’s about drama and it’s very intimate and personal.” As a result, Owen said, “I was just hugely excited the minute I got sent the script.”

Now that script has become a major motion picture that will unspool in theaters everywhere.

Opening Friday nationwide, Gemini Man is directed by Ang Lee from a script written by David Benioff, Billy Ray and Darren Lemke. The film stars Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen, and Benedict Wong

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