Tarsem's 'Self/Less' Trailer: Ben Kingsley Takes Over Ryan Reynolds' Body

Wednesday, 04 March 2015 12:13 Written by  iamrogue
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Tarsem's 'Self/Less' Trailer: Ben Kingsley Takes Over Ryan Reynolds' Body

Is Tarsem Singh looking to shut up everyone who claims he's all style, no substance?

The first trailer for Self/Less marks the very first time in the director's career that a Singh movie hasn't immediately announced itself as a Singh movie through overblown painterly visuals, elaborate costume and set design, and strange headgear. 

There are, in fact, only a couple flourishes that suggest Self/Less is from the same guy who made The Fall, The Cell, Immortals, and Mirror, Mirror.

Instead, this trailer plays like a relatively straightforward science fiction thriller.  The concept is intriguing enough.  It's about a kajillionaire who is dying of cancer when he discovers Phoenix Biogenic, a super-secret medical organization that has the technology to transplant a patient's consciousness into a new body.  The kajillionaire opts for the procedure, giving the septuagenarian a new lease on a life in a sexy young body. 

Before long, however, it starts to become clear that his new body isn't the empty vessel he was promised, and its memories and emotions begin to surface.  Rather than finding help from Phoenix, he discovers that the company will do absolutely anything to keep its secret.

Ben Kingsley plays the protagonist pre-body swap, at which point Ryan Reynolds takes over.  Kingsley's an acting machine. Reynolds, meanwhile, takes plenty of guff on account of high-profile misfires like R.I.P.D. and Green Lantern, but as films like The Voices and The Nines demonstrate, he has real chops. 

In addition to the trailer, Focus Features is also mounting a viral marketing effort, an example of which is the Phoenix commercial below:


This is Reynolds' second body-swap movie.  The first was, of course, the 2011 comedy The Change Up.

The cast here also includes the great Matthew Goode, Michelle Dockery of Downton Abbey, Derek Luke, Natalie Martinez, and Victor Garber, who might just starring on a new CW superhero series spinning off from Arrow and The Flash.

Self/Less has a prime summer release date, hitting theaters on July 31st.

Check out the official synopsis and a teaser poster:

In this provocative psychological science fiction thriller, an extremely wealthy man (Academy Award® Winner Ben Kingsley) dying from cancer undergoes a radical medical procedure that transfers his consciousness into the body of a healthy young man (Ryan Reynolds). But all is not as it seems when he starts to uncover the mystery of the body’s origin and the organization that will kill to protect its cause.


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