The film Gemini Man, which reunites star Will Smith and producer Jerry Bruckheimer, has a pretty unique concept in that it focuses on a hitman who, through genetic manipulation, finds himself targeted by a younger version of himself. This leads to a cat and mouse chase that takes them to all corners of the globe.
“It’s an idea that’s been around for a long time,” notes Jerry in an exclusive interview, “but what rejuvenated it was getting the interest of director Ang Lee and [the production company] Skydance. Both of them were champions of it and we all pushed forward. And, thanks to Ang’s brilliance, we got the movie made. And, of course, he attracts great talent, meaning Will Smith, Clive Owen and the rest of our cast.”
As to the appeal of having Will in the role, he points out, “It’s very difficult to find actors who you recognize when they’re younger and are still a major force in the industry so many years later. People remember him from Fresh Prince, and now he’s older but still a movie star.
“Will,” he continues, “has the ability to play just about any individual, because he becomes that person. He researches it, he understands it, he really dives deep into the character. And with Ang’s direction, the two of them just hit it off and had a direction for the character. Ang was such a mystery to me. We’d be watching a take while they were filming and Ang would walk over to Will and just whisper in his ear. And then the performance would totally change. I’d love to know what those words were, but I never found out. He’s just a master of working with talent.”
Over the years Jerry has worked with Will on Bad Boys (1995), Enemy of the State (1998) and Bad Boys II (2003). Next year they’ll be represented by Bad Boys for Life, third chapter in the action-comedy series co-starring Martin Lawrence and directed by Michael Bay.
“Will was good before,” he enthuses, “but he’s better now and has evolved through all these years from working with talented people on his various movies. He always brings humor to whatever he does and is a consummate professional. One of the best things about him is that he doesn’t just show up on the set; he works behind the scenes with the director and the writers to try and make the movie as good as it can be.”
Gemini Man arrives on Digital, 4K UHD and Blu-Ray/DVD on January 14. Extras will include an alternate opening, a number of deleted scenes and a series of documentaries: “The Genesis of Gemini Man,” “Facing Your Younger Self,” “The Future is Now,” Setting the Action, “Next Level Detail” and “The Vision of Ang Lee.”