It’s going on 20 years since Disney first announced Gemini Man, the high-concept assassin thriller in which an aging hitman battles against a younger version of himself, but as these things tend to do, the project has now exploded into life.
Earlier this week, we brought you the news that illustrious filmmaker Ang Lee had entered negotiations with Skydance about potentially helming the long-gestating sci-fi pic. From what we understand, those negotiations are still ongoing, but The Hollywood Reporter has today revealed another exciting development in the film’s long, meandering saga: Will Smith is in line to take point as the film’s titular lead.
THR’s scoop cautions that these talks are in the early, early stages, and both Smith and Skydance still have to suss out the logistics. One potential headache is the actor’s reported involvement in Disney and Guy Ritchie’s live-action redo of Aladdin, after it was revealed last week that Will Smith had entered talks to play the Genie. Still no development on that front just yet, but with Guy Ritchie and the production crew targeting a June start date in London, it remains to be seen whether Smith finds room on his busy slate to juggle both projects simultaneously.
Assuming the stars align, Gemini Man would herald an opportunity for the actor to delve deep into the world of science fiction, something that we haven’t seen from Smith since Men in Black 3 – After Earth notwithstanding – so we’re intrigued to discover how this one pans out. Story-wise, Skydance’s pic follows an “aging assassin who tried to get out of the business but finds himself in the ultimate battle: fighting his own clone who is 25 years younger than him and at the peak of his abilities.”
The idea with Gemini Man is for one actor to play both roles – the young blood versus the old guard, essentially – through VFX wizardry that allows Ang Lee to de-age Will Smith. You know, presuming he climbs on board to headline. We’ll be keeping a close eye on this one as more information begins to trickle out from Skydance, so be sure to stay tuned for more.