Gemini Man
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAng Lee
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Darren Lemke
  • David Benioff
Produced by
CinematographyDion Beebe
Edited byTim Squyres
Music byLorne Balfe
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release dates
  • October 1, 2019 (2019-10-01) (ZFF)
  • October 11, 2019 (2019-10-11) (United States)
Running time
117 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$138 million[2]
Box office$173.5 million[2]

Gemini Man is a 2019 American science fiction action thriller film[1] directed by Ang Lee. It stars Will Smith in the main dual role, alongside Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen and Benedict Wong. The film follows a retiring Force Recon Marine scout sniper who is targeted by a much younger clone of himself while on the run from a corrupt private military company.

Originally conceived in 1997 by screenwriter Darren Lemke, the film spent nearly twenty years in development hell. Several directors, including Tony Scott, Curtis Hanson, and Joe Carnahan, were attached at some point and numerous actors, including Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson and Sean Connery, were set to star. In 2016, Skydance Media purchased the rights to the screenplay (which had been through several rewrites) from Walt Disney Pictures and, in October 2017, Ang Lee signed on to direct for Skydance with Paramount Pictures handling distribution. Filming took place from February through May 2018 using a high frame rate of 120 frames per second.

Gemini Man was released on October 1, 2019, and was theatrically released in the United States by Paramount Pictures on October 11, 2019. The film received generally negative reviews from critics for its plot and screenwriting, although the performances and action sequences were praised. The de-aging of Smith and the high frame rate drew mixed responses.[3][4] It was also a box-office bomb, grossing only $174 million against its $138 million budget, with Paramount losing an estimated $111 million. Nevertheless, the film was nominated for Best Science Fiction Film at the Saturn Awards.


Henry Brogan, a 51-year-old former Force Recon Marine Scout Sniper working as an operative of the Defense Clandestine Service of the Defense Intelligence Agency, is sent to assassinate a bioterrorist aboard a train in Belgium. Henry's spotter warns him of a young girl approaching the target, causing him to delay his shot until the last second, shooting the man in the neck despite aiming for his head. Disillusioned with killing, Henry retires.

In Buttermilk Sound, Georgia, Henry meets boat rental manager Danny and reconnects with his old friend Jack, who tells Henry that his informant Yuri claims that the target on the train was innocent. Demanding proof, Henry has Jack arrange a meeting with him. In retaliation, agency director Lassiter plans to kill Henry; Clay Verris, director of a rogue private military company codenamed "GEMINI", is denied permission to eliminate him.

Deducing that Danny is a fellow agent sent to monitor him, Henry befriends her. After his home is broken into by government agents, he calls his spotter, who is killed along with Jack and his mistress. Henry warns Danny, and they kill the assassins sent after them, realizing the agency wants them both dead. They escape to Colombia with Baron, Henry's former colleague, hiding at his home and planning to meet with Yuri.

Clay dispatches his top assassin to kill Henry. Fighting him off, Henry realizes the assassin bears an uncanny resemblance to himself as a young man. Arriving at a safe house, the assassin is revealed to be Clay's adopted "son" Junior. Curious about his similarities to Henry, Junior is ordered to finish the job. Danny suggests the assassin might be Henry's child, despite his denials.

Desperate for answers, Henry has Baron obtain a Gulfstream and transport them to Hungary. Testing DNA recovered from Junior, Danny discovers that his and Henry's DNA are identical – Junior is Henry's clone. Henry meets Yuri and learns of GEMINI's cloning project; the man he killed on the train was a scientist who tried to leave the project, having designed a method to produce clones devoid of pain or emotion. Henry calls Lassiter, who agrees to send Junior to bring Danny safely back to the United States.

Collecting Danny, Junior sets up a trap for Henry, who is warned via a covert listening device hidden in Danny's mouth. Ambushing the younger assassin, Henry explains to Junior that he is a clone, revealing their similar traits that no one else could know. Escaping to GEMINI, a heartbroken Junior confronts Clay, who insists he must defeat Henry in order to surpass him. Finding Henry, Junior allies with him to bring down Clay, and Henry urges Junior to quit in order to become someone better.

Baron is killed in an ambush ordered by Clay, with Junior knocking Clay unconscious after a brief hand-to-hand fight. After defeating a wave of GEMINI operatives, Henry, Danny, and Junior face another seemingly unstoppable operative with special body armor. They manage to mortally wound him, and he is discovered to be another youthful clone of Henry, lacking all emotion and ability to feel pain.

Defeated, Clay tries to justify his actions to Junior: clones with Henry's skills would spare the lives of soldiers while making operations incredibly successful. Disgusted, Junior prepares to shoot Clay, but Henry persuades him otherwise and does it himself.

Assured that no more clones were produced and they are finally free, Henry later meets with Junior, who has enrolled in college under the assumed identity of "Jackson Brogan" after Henry's mother's surname. Together, Henry and Danny plan Jackson's future.


Other cast members include Ralph Brown as Del Patterson: Henry's handler at the DIA; Linda Emond as Janet Lassiter, the director of the DIA; Douglas Hodge as Jack Willis, a former Marine colleague of Henry's; Ilia Volok as Yuri Kovács, a Russian operative who has been secretly monitoring GEMINI's history; E. J. Bonilla as Marino, a DIA agent killed for his association with Henry; Igor Szász as Dr. Valery Dormov, one of the doctors who cloned Henry; Björn Freiberg as Keller, a GEMINI operative; and Justin James Boykin as Connor.


Development and pre-production

In 1997, Darren Lemke sold his pitch for Gemini Man after impressing Don Murphy with an unproduced spec script. Warner Bros. Pictures pursued the project, but Walt Disney Pictures ultimately won out and Tony Scott would become attached to direct.[9][10] Complications soon arose when the studio were planning how to make the film. Harrison Ford and Chris O'Donnell were considered for the lead roles.[11] The producers toyed with the idea of an actor play both roles through the use of visual effects, but Scott moved on from the film before any progress could be made. Mel Gibson briefly boarded the project and shot test footage before departing.[12] At the time, Disney's now-defunct animation/visual effects department The Secret Lab developed a test short, known as Human Face Project, to create visual effects for the film, which would involve creating a younger CG clone of the main actor.[13] Ali screenwriters Stephen J. Rivele & Christopher Wilkinson were hired to polish Lemke's script in July 2000.[14] The following month, Nicolas Cage and Sean Connery were in the running for the dual role.[15] In November 2000, the film was retitled to Gemini and was reportedly slotted for a summer 2002 release with Murphy, Jerry Bruckheimer and Jane Hamsher producing.[16] In April 2001, Jonathan Hensleigh was selected to reconfigure the script while maintaining Lemke's concept.[17][18] By February 2009, Curtis Hanson entered talks to direct the film while David Benioff had penned the latest draft of the script.[19] Joe Carnahan had previously pitched for the film, and developed test footage with Clint Eastwood as the assassin.[10][20] The film never progressed at Disney, though, as the technology was not developed enough at that time for the film to be produced.[10] Carnahan also envisioned Jon Voight in the role as well.[21] Later script revisions were done by Billy Ray, Andrew Niccol, and Brian Helgeland.

Director Ang Lee, Director of photography Dion Beebe and Production Designer Guy Hendrix Dyas on set in Cartagena, Columbia

In 2016, Skydance Media acquired the film from Disney, with Jerry Bruckheimer producing, along with Skydance's David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Don Granger. Murphy, Mike Stenson, Chad Oman and Brian Bell would serve as executive producers.[10] Ang Lee was hired to direct the film for Paramount Pictures and Skydance in April 2017[22] and Fosun Pictures came on board to finance soon after with Guo Guangchang also on board as executive producer.[23]

That same month, Will Smith was cast in the lead role, and a release date set for October 11, 2019.[24] In January 2018, Clive Owen and Mary Elizabeth Winstead were cast in the film, with Winstead winning the role over Tatiana Maslany.[7][8] In January 2018, Benedict Wong and Ralph Brown joined the cast and filming began in February.[25]


Principal production commenced on February 27, 2018, in Glennville, Georgia,[26] and included locations in Cartagena, Colombia.[27][28] Filming continued in May 2018 at Széchenyi Thermal Bath in Budapest, Hungary. Like Lee's previous film Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, the film was shot digitally at an extra-high frame rate of 120 frames per second (fps), modified for 3D, this time on modified ARRI Alexa cameras[29] mounted on STEREOTEC 3D Rigs.[30][31]

Visual effects

The visual effects are provided by Weta Digital and supervised by Bill Westenhofer and Guy Williams,[32] with support from Park Road Post, Universal Production Partners (UPP), Scanline VFX, Legend3D, Inc., The Third Floor, Inc., East Side Effects, Clear Angle Studios and Stereo D.[citation needed]


Main article: Gemini Man (soundtrack)


Gemini Man was released in the United States on October 11, 2019, by Paramount Pictures. It was originally scheduled to be released on October 4, but Paramount pushed the film back for release a week later.[24] It premiered at the Zurich Film Festival on October 1, 2019.[33] It was released in 120 fps HFR (High frame rate) on select screens.[34]

Home media

Gemini Man was released on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray and DVD on January 14, 2020.[35] The film used 60 fps presentation in Dolby Vision.


Box office

Gemini Man grossed $48.6 million in the United States and Canada, and $124.9 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $173.5 million.[2] It was estimated the film needed to gross around $275 million worldwide in order to break even; Deadline Hollywood calculated its net loss to be $111.1 million, when factoring together all expenses and revenues.[36][37]

In the United States and Canada, Gemini Man was released alongside The Addams Family and Jexi, and was originally projected to gross $24–29 million from 3,642 theaters in its opening weekend.[38] The film made $7.5 million on its first day, including $1.6 million from Thursday night previews, lowering weekend estimates to $20 million. It went on to debut to $20.6 million, finishing third at the box office behind The Addams Family and Joker. The low opening was blamed on poor critical response, the familiar premise and the over-performance of Joker.[39] In its second weekend, Gemini Man fell 59.6% to $8.3 million, finishing fifth.[40]

The film opened in five countries the week prior to its U.S. release and made $7 million, finishing first in each market: France ($3 million), Germany ($3 million), Switzerland ($434,000), Austria ($262,000) and Israel ($259,000, Lee's best opener in the country).[41] In China, Gemini Man debuted to $21 million, less than expected, getting upset by fellow new release Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. After two weeks the film had a worldwide total of $118 million, including an "underwhelming" $82 million overseas.[37]

Critical response

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 26% and an average rating of 4.7/10, based on 319 reviews. The website's critics consensus reads: "Gemini Man's impressive visuals are supported by some strong performances, but this sci-fi thriller is fatally undermined by a frustratingly subpar story."[42] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 38 out of 100, based on 49 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[43] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave Gemini Man an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale, while those at PostTrak gave it 3.5 out of 5 stars.[39]

Variety's Peter DeBruge called the film "a high-concept misfire" and wrote: "In practice, it's been a nearly impossible project to get made, passing through the hands of countless actors and falling through multiple times because the technology wasn't there yet. At least, that's been the excuse, although judging by the finished product, it was the script that never lived up to the promise of its premise."[44] Ella Kemp of IndieWire gave Gemini Man a "C+", writing that "For Lee, it seems to make sense – the film welds concerns that have colored a number of his projects: the debate of Nature v Nurture; the alienation of a fraying man; the challenge of what digital filmmaking can do. On paper, Gemini Man tends to all three concerns, but in practice the film is impenetrable beyond its technological clout."[45]

Giving the film one star, Kevin Maher of The Times was unimpressed with the script and the 120 fps shooting, writing "It keeps every detail in the frame (background and foreground) in vivid, garish focus at all times. Besides being aesthetically repellent (it's like 1980s children's telly or the worst wedding video yet)" and called the de-aging "alarmingly unconvincing".[46]

Science & Influence

Gemini Man has been criticized for its unrealistic level of genetic determinism, and its failure to explicitly distinguish between cloning and cloning combined with genetic engineering.[47] The film relies on the conceit that human cloning is inherently menacing, ignoring the fact that a clone would simply be a younger monozygotic ("identical") twin—with the many possible differences that exist between conventionally born identical twins.[48] The film influenced Thalapathy Vijay's science-fiction action film The Greatest of All Time in its development and production with a slightly similar plot and also its de-aging technology was used.[49]


Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
Advanced Imaging Society Technology Awards Oct. 28, 2019 120 fps/4K/3D Cinema Experience Won [50]
Austin Film Critics Association Jan. 22, 2019 Best Motion Capture/Special Effects Performance Will Smith Nominated
Saturn Awards October 26, 2021 Best Science Fiction Film Release Nominated [51]
St. Louis Film Critics Association December 15, 2019 Worst Film of the Year Nominated
Visual Effects Society Awards January 29, 2020 Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature Bill Westenhofer, Karen Murphy-Mundell, Guy Williams, Sheldon Stopsack, Mark Hawker Nominated [52]
Outstanding Animated Character in a Photoreal Feature Paul Story, Stuart Adcock, Emiliano Padovani, Marco Revelant (for "Junior") Nominated
World Stunt Awards December 15, 2019 Best Work with a Vehicle Stunt Team of Gemini Man Nominated
Yoga Awards 2020 Worst Digital Makeup Gemini Man Nominated



  1. ^ a b "Gemini Man (12A)". Paramount Pictures UK. BBFC. Retrieved October 7, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "Gemini Man (2019)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved December 11, 2019.
  3. ^ "'Gemini Man': What the Critics are Saying". The Hollywood Reporter. October 11, 2019.
  4. ^ "Gemini Man review round-up - what critics are saying about the movie". October 11, 2019.
  5. ^ Spencer, Samuel (October 12, 2019). "'Gemini Man': How They Made Will Smith Fight Himself in New Movie". Newsweek. Retrieved October 16, 2019.
  6. ^ "DIA OIG Organization".
  7. ^ a b Kroll, Justin (January 12, 2018). "Clive Owen Joins Will Smith in Ang Lee's 'Gemini Man' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Archived from the original on March 1, 2018. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Mary Elizabeth Winstead to Star Opposite Will Smith in 'Gemini Man' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on January 27, 2018. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  9. ^ Kit, Borys (October 11, 2019). "Meet the Writer of Gemini Man (Who Didn't Actually Write Gemini Man)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 28, 2022.
  10. ^ a b c d Kit, Borys (April 21, 2017). "Ang Lee in Talks to Direct Clone Assassin Movie Gemini Man". Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on March 22, 2019. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
  11. ^ Mooney, Darren (October 18, 2019). "Gemini Man Depicts the War Between Hollywood's Past and Future". Escapist Magazine. Retrieved December 28, 2022.
  12. ^ Kit, Borys (October 11, 2019). "Meet the Writer of Gemini Man (Who Didn't Actually Write Gemini Man)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 28, 2022.
  13. ^ Failes, Ian (September 5, 2017). "The Secret History Of Disney's 'Gemini Man' And The Quest To Make A Convincing CG Human". Archived from the original on March 1, 2018. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  14. ^ Fleming, Michael (January 24, 2001). "Ali Team Punches Up Gaelic Mob". Variety. Retrieved December 28, 2022.
  15. ^ "Nick Cage In Gemini Man". Ain't It Cool News. August 3, 2000. Retrieved December 28, 2022.
  16. ^ Stax (November 2, 2000). "The Stax Report: Script Review of Gemini". IGN. Archived from the original on April 23, 2019. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
  17. ^ Lyons, Charles (April 24, 2001). "Mouse Nabs Scribe to Fix Man Script". Variety. Retrieved December 28, 2022.
  18. ^ Vejvoda, Jim (April 25, 2001). "Hensleigh's Sign is Gemini". IGN. Retrieved December 28, 2022.
  19. ^ Sperling, Nicole (February 13, 2009). "Curtis Hanson in Negotiations to Direct Gemini Man". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 28, 2022.
  20. ^ Fischer, Russ (October 10, 2012). "Watch Joe Carnahan's Gemini Man Sizzle Reel, Which Pits Clint Eastwood Against Clint Eastwood". /Film. Archived from the original on April 23, 2019. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
  21. ^ Anderton, Ethan (October 10, 2012). "Sizzle Reel of What Joe Carnahan's 'Gemini Man' Could Have Been". First Showing. Retrieved December 28, 2022.
  22. ^ Kit, Borys (April 21, 2017). "Ang Lee in Talks to Direct Clone Assassin Movie Gemini Man (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on March 2, 2018. Retrieved April 22, 2017.
  23. ^ Brzeski, Patrick (April 2, 2019). "China's Fosun to Co-Produce Ang Lee's 'Gemini Man' With Paramount, Skydance". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on April 23, 2019. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
  24. ^ a b "Are You Afraid of the Dark? & Gemini Man Swap Release Dates". Screen Rant. February 2019. Archived from the original on February 4, 2019. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  25. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (February 28, 2018). "Paramount's 'Gemini Man' Adds 'Doctor Strange' Actor Benedict Wong". Deadline. Archived from the original on March 1, 2018. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  26. ^ "Actor Will Smith filming movie near Savannah; says Georgia 'gotta do something about these bugs'". WSAV-TV. February 28, 2018. Archived from the original on March 1, 2018. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  27. ^ "Otorgan permiso para película que Will Smith filmará en Cartagena". El Heraldo (in Spanish). March 16, 2018. Archived from the original on March 21, 2018. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  28. ^ "Autorizan permiso para rodaje de película de Will Smith en Cartagena". El Universal (in Spanish). March 16, 2018. Archived from the original on March 16, 2018. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  29. ^ "'Gemini Man' Trailer: How Ang Lee Is Crafting a CG Will Smith and Immersive Feel". The Hollywood Reporter. April 23, 2019. Archived from the original on April 23, 2019.
  30. ^ Pennington, Adrian (December 21, 2018). "Ang Lee's High Frame Rate Gemini Man 'The Future of Cinema'". IBC. Archived from the original on May 30, 2019. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  31. ^ "STEREOTEC". Archived from the original on July 2, 2019. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  32. ^ Desowitz, Bill (April 13, 2018). "Martin Scorsese's 'The Irishman' and Ang Lee's 'Gemini Man' - IndieWire". IndieWire. Archived from the original on April 15, 2018. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  33. ^ Ed Meza (September 26, 2019). "Zurich Film Festival Screens 'Joker,' 'Judy,' Honors Stewart, Blanchett". Variety. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
  34. ^ Har-Even, Benny. "Gemini Man And High Frame Rate (HFR)--Is It The New Face Of Cinema?". Forbes. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  35. ^ "Gemini Man Blu-ray". Retrieved July 17, 2020.
  36. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 27, 2020). "The Biggest Box Office Bombs Of 2019: Deadline's Most Valuable Blockbuster Tournament". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 27, 2020.
  37. ^ a b McClintock, Pamela (October 20, 2019). "Box Office Bust: 'Gemini Man' Faces $75 Million Loss". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
  38. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (October 9, 2019). "'Joker' Breaks Tuesday October Record With $13.9M, Will Continue To Make Serious B.O. This Weekend With $42M+". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  39. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (October 13, 2019). "'Joker' $55M+ Scores 2nd Weekend October Record, 'Addams Family' Rich $30M+, 'Gemini Man' Still Not Dazzling $20M – Sunday B.O. Update". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 13, 2019.
  40. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (October 20, 2019). "'Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil' No Magic With $36M+, 'Joker' Still Stealing 2nd Place From 'Zombieland 2' With $28M+". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  41. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (October 6, 2019). "'Joker' Jolts October With $141M Overseas & $234M Global Bows, Thrashes 'Venom' Records – International Box Office". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
  42. ^ "Gemini Man (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved October 10, 2021.
  43. ^ "Gemini Man Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved December 7, 2019.
  44. ^ DeBruge, Peter (September 26, 2019). "Film Review: Will Smith in 'Gemini Man'". Variety. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  45. ^ Ella Kemp (September 26, 2019). "'Gemini Man' Review: Will Smith Goes to War With Himself — and With Ang Lee's Technology". IndieWire. Penske Business Media. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  46. ^ Maher, Kevin (October 11, 2019). "Gemini Man review — someone order a hit on the shaky cameras and bad script". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
  47. ^ Wardlow, Ciara (October 12, 2019). "'Gemini Man,' Human Cloning and Actual Science". Hollywood Reporter.
  48. ^ Ings, Simons (November 2, 2019). Wilson, Emily (ed.). "Will Smith's action thriller Gemini Man falls into major logic holes". New Scientist. No. 3254. p. 30. ISSN 0262-4079.
  49. ^ "#TheGOAT film of the Thalapathy Vijay starrer to be a remake of 'Gemini Man'". The Times of India. January 2, 2024. Retrieved January 29, 2024.
  50. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (September 24, 2019). "'Gemini Man,' 'The Lion King' Technical Achievements Honored by Advanced Imaging Society". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 29, 2020.
  51. ^ Hipes, Patrick (March 4, 2021). "Saturn Awards Nominations: 'Star Wars: Rise Of Skywalker', 'Tenet', 'Walking Dead', 'Outlander' Lead List". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 5, 2021.
  52. ^ Hipes, Patrick (January 7, 2020). "VES Awards Nominations: 'The Lion King', 'Alita: Battle Angel', 'The Mandalorian' & 'GoT' Top List". Deadline. Retrieved January 7, 2020.