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When Ang Lee introduced the first-ever screening of the full version of his new film “Gemini Man” he focused on the obvious: the many, many technical challenges involved in making a movie unlike any made before. It meant the creation of Hollywood’s first fully digital human character, “Junior” — a motion capture of Will Smith transformed into a 23-year-old version of the actor – while at the same time experimenting with the high frame-rate (120 fps) and 3D cinematography he employed in “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.”
Lee said that one of his principal goals was to continue his “pursuit of what digital cinema should be,” but joked that at the same time, he “still had to deliver a Will Smith clone movie.”
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“Gemini Man” is, at its heart, a Jerry Bruckheimer action film — but it’s one that Lee constantly reworked, returning to some of the themes that have dominated his career. When he was first sent the script, which Paramount was anxious to shoot soon, Lee returned a nine-page letter proposing how he would approach a page-one rewrite, which he assumed would yield a polite rejection. As he told a gathering of journalists during a post-screening roundtable, he was surprised when the studio said yes, and gave him six months to develop the script.
“The subject matter of nature versus nurture really got to me,” said Lee, speaking with journalists after the screening. “Gemini Man” centers on 51-year-old Henry (Smith), a retiring ace sharper shooter, who discovers he’s being hunted by his younger clone. “I’m a cinema person [and] just in my head when I heard the idea… It really makes you wonder about your own existence and what you would tell your younger self,” he said. “I’m old enough to think about that kind of thing.”
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“Gemini Man”: Ang Lee and...
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