At the heart of director Ang Lee’s new sci-fi action film GEMINI MAN is the tale of two characters: aging hit man Henry Brogan and young buck assassin Junior, both played by Will Smith. To achieve this mind-blowing effect, Lee and his team had to create a totally digital version of the actor as a young man.
It was a highly intensive process that did two things for GEMINI MAN’s benefit: It created one of the most believable digital effects in movie-making history, and it ensured that Ang Lee’s film is yet another essential 3D viewing experience for fans of the genre.
Making another Will Smith isn’t as easy as one would think. Between filming scenes with Smith playing out both Henry and Junior’s performances and using an on-set double, the plans to create this illusion were all laid out — but in the refinement process came the film’s greatest challenges, as not only would Junior need to hold up to 3D scrutiny, but he’d also need to be a character ready for a high frame rate (HFR).
As Ang Lee shot GEMINI MAN in 120 frames per second, his HFR vision wouldn’t allow for typical de-aging techniques that would involve makeup. According to the film’s visual effects supervisor, Bill Westenhofer, those methods show up clear as day in a film with such a high frame rate.
In addition to that problem, there was the factor that since both of Will Smith’s characters are in the frame together for most of the film, there was always going to be a digital double in the film. So, when you see Junior on screen in GEMINI MAN, that’s a fully photorealistic CG character coming to beat up Henry Brogan.
With all of the technological developments both in creating Junior’s character and in filming GEMINI MAN in 120 frames per second, it makes for an effect that is best seen in RealD 3D at AMC. The medium allows for audiences to enjoy a crystal-clear window into spectacular action.
But more importantly, Lee himself urges audiences to enjoy GEMINI MAN in 3D, because Junior "is more alive" in the premium large format.
GEMINI MAN has a lot of thrills in its arsenal, and RealD 3D at AMC is a visually stunning way for movie fans to enjoy them all. You really have to see it to believe it, and you can catch GEMINI MAN at an AMC theatre near you on October 11. Get your tickets now.