I’ve long been intrigued by the plot of Looper, a sci-fi thriller that uses time travel as a catalyst to match up Joseph Gordon-Levitt against Bruce Willis. See, Gordon-Levitt plays Joe, who’s a “looper,” or a hitman with a pretty cushy job: The mob sends people back in time for Joe to kill, and everyone’s happy. Except that the mob decides to “close the loop” and send back Joe’s older self… played by Willis.
It’s pretty ambitious to set up two recognizable actors playing the same person, and to reveal that as part of the premise. Furthermore, writer-director Rian Johnson decided early on that they were going to go for full believability: Gordon-Levitt had to spend three hours a day in the makeup chair getting fitted with prosthetics so he would resemble his Die Hard progenitor. As Johnson told the LA Times,
“That was really scary because you commit to that and there’s no real way out of it. But the biggest thing is Joe’s performance, he’s really doing Bruce in a big and daring way, but he strikes a balance between obviously imitating Bruce and also building this organic performance.”
So, you’ve heard what they had to say, you’ve seen the poster, and now you can watch this short teaser and glimpse what Gordon-Levitt in full makeup looks like. It’s a fleeting moment, but I was still struck by the way they’d structured his face to match the more recognizable action star. The thing is, this isn’t the full teaser, even; it’s a teaser for the teaser, which goes online in three days. Normally I’d consider that a dick move, but with this film I’ll let it slide. Plus, you get to see Johnson tease Gordon-Levitt about getting his ass kicked by Willis.
Looper comes out September 28th.