Ang Lee‘s Gemini Man is due out this year, but we’ve still yet to see a single frame of it. The acclaimed filmmaker has been working hard on the effects-driven film, which involves Will Smith facing off against a younger clone of himself (also played by Smith, via digital de-aging effects). When Gemini Man finally arrives, Lee and Paramount Pictures want to make sure it looks as special and spectacular as possible. As a result, they’re making sure theaters can host Gemini Man screenings with high-frame rate 3D. Lee employed a similar technique for his drama Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.
The Playlist has a story revealing that Paramount and Ang Lee are going to work hard to make Gemini Man stand out at the box office. While you’ll still be able to see the film in traditional frame rates, a letter sent by Paramount to exhibitors states that the film will also have “versions presented in 60fps 3D and 120fps 2D.” Check out the letter below.
Lee employed similar tech for Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, a movie from 2016 that I bet you’ve already completely forgotten about. As Deadline reported before release, Billy Lynn was “the first major studio feature shot in 120 frames-per-second 3D, with 4K clarity.” Lee explained his reasoning for employing this method:
“I wanted to do it in 3D, because after making [Life of] Pi, I thought pursuing a higher frame would help me find answers. When they pitched me the book, I thought this was a great chance. It was about the temporary cessation of soldiers from the battlefield to normal life in Dallas. I thought that the media, the higher frame rate, served the content and that presented a great opportunity. I think it was a good marriage, but the understanding was some kind of a higher frame rate. At that time, we only knew 48, but I told him I had done an experiment with 60 and that 60 would be the next generation. He got excited. We researched, and saw what Peter Jackson did with 48 frames. I visited Doug Trumbull who was doing his own 60fps tests, and so was Jim Cameron. And I realized that if you could get close to 120, it would be like what you actually see. It’s not a movie anymore.”
Back in December, Gemini Man cinematographer Dion Beebe said: “When you watch it for the first time it is both alien and captivating…Ang is not pursuing high frame rates for 2D. It’s about the 3D experience and eliminating motion blur through extreme frame rates.”
This sort of tech didn’t quite make sense for a drama like Billy Lynn, but it’ll probably be better suited for a sci-fi flick like Gemini Man. That said, I’ll probably skip it and see it in a traditional frame rate, because these bells and whistles never appeal to me.
Gemini Man opens October 4, 2019.
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