Ang Lee Readies Theaters For Extra-High Frame Rate ‘Gemini Man’ With Will Smith

Ang Lee made an odd choice when he shot his drama Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk at 120 frames per second. The use of higher frame rate is most often used for action or sci-fi films and that didn’t seem like the best place for it, but then Lee has always been one to push the technological envelope regardless of the project. I wouldn’t have necessarily thought his extensive use of CGI was needed for Life of Pi, and yet it worked beautifully. Now Lee is looking to push things again with his next film, Gemini Man, and he’s warning theater chains to get ready.

According to ThePlaylist, Lee and Paramount Pictures have sent a letter out to exhibitors that they should test their equipment to see if Gemini Man can be shown using an Extra High Frame Rate. There will be versions of the sci-fi film presented in 60fps 3D and 120fps 2D. The typical standard is 24fps, to get an idea of the differences we’re talking about here. You’ll also be able to see it in the standard format. The letter goes on to provide instructions on testing the equipment to make sure they are HFR capable.

Gemini Man sounds a lot like Rian Johnson’s Looper, as it stars Will Smith as an aging assassin looking to get out of the business, only to be hunted down by a younger version of himself. The film also stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Clive Owen, with extensive use of CGI and de-aging effects. So probably no cheap prosthetic noses this time.

Billy Lynn was the first movie ever shot at 120fps, but it never made any sense for that particular story, considering how flat its events were. Peter Jackson experimented with 40fps for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and audiences generally disapproved of it. Gemini Man, which opens October 4th, may be a better use for it and has a better shot at winning over skeptical moviegoers.