If you’re the sort of person who thinks that the main drawback of any movie starring Jesse Eisenberg is that there’s only one Jesse Eisenberg in it, then boy are you in for a real treat. Through the miracle of modern filmmaking technology, director Richard Ayoade has somehow managed to have Eisenberg star in a movie opposite himself, sometimes even in the very same shot! The movie in which this magic occurs is the upcoming The Double, which is based on a novella by Russian ball of sunshine Fyodor Dostoevsky.
For those who didn’t go through college wearing black and reading bleak Russian literature, Dostoyevsky’s story revolves around Yakov Petrovich Golyadkin, a meek government clerk who encounters a man who is his doppelganger in every way except he’s much cooler and more outgoing and everyone wants to party with him. In the film version, Golyadkin has been renamed Simon James, probably because the name Yakov has been ruined by a certain Russian comic who was popular in the 1980s.
This will be Richard Ayoade sophomore directorial effort. His first film was the charming coming-of-age indie comedy Submarine, which can still be caught on Netflix if you’re so inclined. Ayoade is also known as the geeky, spazzy guy on the British TV show The IT Crowd. No, the other geeky, spazzy guy. You were thinking of Chris O’Dowd. He’s cool too, though.
The Double has made its way around the film festival circuit, and was reviewed by our own David Baldwin after playing at this years’s Toronto International Film Festival. The film may be a little too quirky to end up being a blockbuster hit on the level of, for instance, The Social Network, but it looks to at the very least be a unique and entertaining movie for those who like their humor pitch black. Check out the teaser trailer below for a lot of Jesse Eisenberg looking very Jesse Eisenbergian.