With two Oscar nominations to his name for his performances in Ali (2002) and The Pursuit of Happyness (2008), Will Smith is now stranger to the Academy Awards but is latest project is regarded as outsider for Oscars glory at the 2020 ceremony.
Gemini Man, directed by Ang Lee, also stars Clive Owen, Benedict Wong and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and is due to hit movie theaters in October. Smith takes on the character of an ageing assassin, who is forced to go up against a cloned version of himself. Smith is no stranger to sci-fi roles, having starred in three instalments of the Men in Black series, as well as I,Robot and apocalyptic thrillers I Am Legend and After Earth.
The movie also has excellent Oscars credentials in the form of its director. Ang Lee has earned three nominations for Best Picture with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), Brokeback Mountain (2005) and Life Of Pi (2012), with the latter two movies both earning him the Best Director award.
But like a number of other sci-fi contenders in the running for the Best Picture award this year, including Star Wars: Episode IX and Ad Astra, Smith’s latest movie will have to overcome the weight of history, since no feature in this genre has ever won Best Picture. And bookmakers have taken a cautious approach to Gemini Man. Paddy Power has rated it as a 25/1 chance, alongside the latest Star Wars instalment and super hero standalone movie Joker.
And Gemini Man is also up against a number of highly-anticipated movies, including the current 3/1 favourite in the Best Picture market, The Irishman by Martin Scorcese, which stars Robert de Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci. Three-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep is set to star in another contender; political thriller The Laundromat (4/1) and the latest Tom Hanks project, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (6/1) is also tipped to do well.