Walt Disney Pictures is finally moving forward with a sci-fi project called Gemini Man, which blockbuster producer Jerry Bruckheimer is producing. Not to be confused with the 1976 television series of the same name -- which could make for a good adaptation or remake -- the movie is about an aging hitman being hunted by his young clone. The clone has been sent to enforce the elder's retirement so that it can replace him. The idea has been around for at least four years, when the CGI team The Secret Lab (Kangaroo Jack; Snow Dogs) was doing test effects involving a young Mel Gibson from The Year of Living Dangerously interacting with an older Gibson from Payback. Originally written by Darren Lemke, the script had then been redone by Armageddon's Jonathan Hensleigh. Now, the project is getting another kick start by Troy's David Benioff, who is also writing the Wolverine spin-off for Fox. Who will play the young and old version of the hitman (same actor? different actors? father and son?) is still up in the air.
The idea of a character fighting a version of himself has been around for years in many different forms, and yet it remains an interesting concept. And it can be done in so many different ways: twins; evil doppelgangers; time travel; split-personalities (I'd link, but I don't want to spoil any films); face-switching. The clone device is not completely fresh -- see The Sixth Day and The Island (actually, don't) -- but the plot of Gemini Man still sounds promising. Just imagine what it would be like to fight a younger you. The clone will have your strength at a time when you were likely more fit, but you presumably have more experience and intelligence. Who will win? The simple Hollywood idea is to have the older hitman win, but if both versions are played by a hot 20-something actor, with the "real" hitman portrayed with old-man makeup, then much of the audience would probably rather see the clone win. Either way, if Benioff can deliver a smart script, hopefully one that comments on the issue of age in the job market -- or even better, self-reflectively on the issue of age in Hollywood -- then the movie will be worth-seeing (especially if it can go head-to-head against the similarly themed Logan's Run remake). Of course, watching a fight sequence where, say, Josh Hartnett beats himself up, could be appealing, as well.