There’s a long and varied history of actors playing multiple roles in the same film: from Jesse Eisenberg’s dueling office workers in the Kafka-esque “The Double,” to Jake Gyllenhaal’s washed-out doppelgängers in “Enemy,” to Jeremy Irons’ twin gynecologists in “Dead Ringers.” (Michael Keaton even tried his hand at playing four characters—one man, three clones—in Harold Ramis’ 1996 comedy “Multiplicity.”) The latest actor to take up the challenge is MCU and “Jumanji” star Karen Gillan, as she takes the lead in Riley Stearns’ new movie, “Dual,” which premiered earlier this year at Sundance.
Gillan plays Sarah, a terminally ill woman who opts into a “replacement” cloning procedure to ease the impending grief of her family and friends. The clone assimilates itself into Sarah’s life, and when Sarah makes a miraculous recovery, it invokes its “28th Amendment” right to prevent its decommission. In this not-too-distant future, the solution to this bizarre impasse is all laid out: Sarah and Sarah Double must battle it out in a duel to the death. With her life on the line, Sarah enlists the help of Trent (Aaron Paul), a specialist in these “kill or be killed” replicant contests.
The film also stars Beulah Koale and Theo James in supporting roles.
Back in January, “Dual” received a somewhat lukewarm review from The Playlist’s Rodrigo Perez, who likened the characters’ deadpan delivery to the works of Yorgos Lanthimos—“odd duck people behave eccentrically, performances walk a razor-thin tightrope tone of the unusual and peculiar, dry, deadpan laughs are the order of the day”—but was ultimately disappointed by Stearns’ rendition: “threading that Lanthimos needle is a lot more complicated than it looks, no matter the level of dedication.”
Still, Sterns, Gillan, and Paul is a great trio and it’s probably worth taking a peek and seeing what you think yourself. “Dual” opens in cinemas on April 15. Watch the first trailer, via Collider, below.