Ang Lee used footage from Bad Boys to help de-age Will Smith in his new movie, Gemini Man.
The action thriller, which also stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Clive Owen, sees Smith play an older hitman who is targeted by a younger clone of himself.
Now, Lee has revealed that to create a convincing younger-looking Smith, his visual effects team used photos of the actor, as well as the 50-year-old’s work in films such as 1993’s Six Degrees of Separation and Bad Boys, which was released in 1995.
However, the Oscar-winning director explained that while they eventually successfully created Smith’s doppelganger with enormous technological investment and footage from his early movies, they were unable to use the funnyman’s work in his ’90s TV sitcom, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
“He wasn’t playing this kind of part,” Lee told Variety. “He played a swaggering, happy-go-lucky guy and here he’s kind of a melancholy fellow.”
The ground-breaking Gemini Man features high frame rates – 60 frames per second to 120 frames per second – and 3D filmmaking, which the 64-year-old previously used in his 2016 drama, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.
But the movie, starring Joe Alwyn and Kristen Stewart, was panned by critics, and some movie theatres in the U.S. were unable to screen the film because of the high frame rates.
“It was quite brutal,” Lee sadly explained. “It wasn’t given a fair shot really.”
He went on to suggest that Sony, the studio behind the film, didn’t fully support the new technology. “They didn’t know what to do with that movie,” he continued. “They had mixed feelings.”
Gemini Man is due to hit cinemas in October.
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