Robert Pattinson and Bong Joon Ho are two names you probably didn’t expect to see in the same sentence together, let alone the same film. The teaser trailer for their first film together, Mickey 17, arrived today, and should the pair’s past work speak for itself, then we’re in for the sci-fi event of a generation.
In terms of information, the trailer delivers the bare bones, offering up nothing but a shirtless Pattinson lying face-up in a futuristic machine resembling an MRI chamber. As the camera turns over on itself we slowly zoom in on Pattinson’s eyes until they shoot open at the last minute and we see the word Mickey 17 splash across the screen.
The movie is based on the relatively new novel Mickey7 by Edward Ashton. In the novel, Mickey is an Expendable, a disposable human employee whose mission it is to help colonize the ice planet Niflheim. Given the dangerous nature of his line of work, Mickey’s memories are backed up and restored to a clone body in the unlikely (or likely) event that he dies. In the novel, Mickey is on his seventh iteration. After being declared dead on a mission he failed to return from, Mickey fights his way back to the colony’s base only to discover that the eighth iteration of himself has already been activated, but Mickey refuses to let the clone take his place. The two Mickeys decide to work together to keep this secret hidden, for if people found out, they would be killed and tossed into the recycler in an instant.
Based on the premise alone, it appears that the movie adaptation of Pattinson’s Mickey will be the 17th iteration of the Expendable, not the seventh, which indicates some severe alterations to the source material. Then again, perhaps the only difference is the number of times the character tried and failed to complete his mission. We won’t know until more clips of the movie are released.
Mickey 17 promises some major acting gymnastics from Pattinson, who will have to play two different versions of himself, but with Bong at the helm, this just might be the movie that gets the 36-year-old an Academy Award attention.
Bong’s 2019 magnum opus, Parasite, won the South Korean director the Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Director. The movie also took home the award for Best Original Screenplay and Best International Feature Film, and became the first-ever non-English language film to win Best Picture and has since become the highest-grossing South Korean film in history.
Bong’s reputation precedes itself, as does Pattinson’s, making their combined efforts on Mickey 17 feel a lot like a masterpiece in the making. There’s a lot to speculate on at the moment, including whether or not the movie adaptation will stick closely to the source material. Because the teaser trailer has arrived a full year and three months ahead of the film’s release date, it’ll be a ways to go before we have a bigger picture of the film.
In addition to Pattinson, the film boasts a star-studded cast the likes of which include Mark Ruffalo (Avengers film series), Naomi Ackie (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker), and Toni Collette (Knives Out). Bong is also hard at work on a television spin-off of his Parasite, set to premiere on HBO.
Mickey 17 will release to theaters in the United States and around the world on March 29, 2024.