Will Smith fights with Will Smith tonight on France 2

In “Gemini Man”, broadcast this evening on France 2, Will Smith finds himself confronted with his 20-year-old clone. But how did the film crew go about rejuvenating the famous actor?

In Gemini Man, directed by Ang Lee and broadcast this Sunday evening on France 2, Will Smith plays Henry Borgan, a fifty-year-old professional killer who suddenly finds himself confronted with a threat that is atypical to say the least: a 23-year-old agent, using identical techniques. to his own, and who is none other than his own clone.

To bring this second Will Smith to life, rejuvenated by 30 years, director Ang Lee and his team used revolutionary techniques. Contrary to what is usually done, for example in Marvel productions which are often used to giving their actors a second youth, Will Smith’s face has not simply been “rejuvenated”, but has been totally recreated in computer generated images, from scratch.

As he told us in an interview in September 2019, the first challenge for Ang Lee was to find an actor who had been popular for long enough to evoke an emotion in the viewer at 53 as at 23:


“Due to the nature of the film, there were probably only two or three stars who had remained at the top for the last thirty years who had the shoulders to do so”says Ang Lee.[Will Smith] is one of those rare actors and when he accepted, we said to ourselves: “Phew, that’s good. “”

The next challenge was of course technical. How to rejuvenate Will Smith in the most believable way? Even though old images of the actor were used as references to construct Junior’s appearance in Gemini Manthey did not however constitute the basis of the character.

Indeed, to create it, Ang Lee and his team mostly relied on the performance capture, and therefore on the acting talent of Will Smith himself. Like Andy Serkis in The Hobbit or Zoe Saldana in Avatar, the actor has been equipped accordingly, especially at the level of his face, studded with numerous sensors supposed to record the slightest of his facial expressions and reproduce it digitally:

Jerry Bruckheimer Movies

“It’s not about regeneration or image substitution. Junior is entirely created digitally and 100% guided by performance capture”, thus explained the visual effects supervisor Bill Westenhofer. A revolutionary rejuvenation technique, therefore, and which began by astonishing Will Smith himself:

The first time I saw myself, it was creepy. It was me”, he confided. “I had before my eyes a perfect version of me at 23, as if someone had erased all my flaws. It is, cinematographically speaking, amazing. It will influence the way of making and watching films from now on. .”

(Re)discover our interview with Ang Lee for “Gemini Man”…

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