‘Dual’ Trailer: Karen Gillan Trains With Aaron Paul To Defeat Her Clone In Riley Stearns’ Sci-Fi Satire

The only thing better than one Karen Gillan? Two Karen Gillans. In Riley Stearns’ sci-fi satire Dual, Gillan squares off against herself in a film set in a future when people who are about to die can have themselves cloned. But if a miracle happens and you live…well, you may still die.

While Dual has been pitched as Gillan vs. Gillan, Stearns is actually doing quite a lot more. Gillan’s character Sarah has little-to-no desire to live until she sees her clone living her life better than she ever did. But also in this world, the original and the clone aren’t allowed to co-exist, so there must be a dual to the death. This inspires Sarah to get into fighting shape with the help of Trent, an instructor played by Aaron Paul. Trent might be capable, he might not be, but he’s definitely no Mr. Miyagi. Dude is pretty strange.

Theo James, Maija Paunio, and Beulah Koale. Stearns both directed and wrote the screenplay.

It’s another offbeat look at how violence can change a person, following-up on Stearns’ prior film, The Art of Self-Defense. The film premiered at Sundance where I and many others had praise for it, especially Gillan’s twin performances.

Dual opens in theaters on April 15th.


Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.