Preview: Rian Johnson’s ‘Looper’ gets a first trailer

After just over a week of mini-teasers, last night saw the release of the first full teaser trailer for Rian Johnson’s Looper (2012), a time-travelling action adventure that sees Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis go head-to-head as younger and older versions of the same character. Emily Blunt, Paul Dano, Noah Segan and Jeff Daniels are also set to feature in the film in supporting roles.

The first official stills of Gordon-Levitt as ‘young Joe’ appeared online after the trailer debuted at WonderCon last month, showing the subtle but effective facial prosthetics being used to make the younger actor resemble Willis. Set about 30 years from now, the film takes place in a world where time-travel has not quite been invented – but will be soon, and be highly illegal. Mob bosses use it to send victims back in time for their bodies to be disposed of in the past.

The trailer was preceded by three mini-teasers (now customary for high profile US releases it seems), featuring Johnson and Gordon-Levitt talking about different aspects of the film: the premise; the make-up and prosthetics; and the action.

The trailer itself gives us a once-over of Looper’s set-up, delivered by Joe Gordon-Levitt), who tells us about the imminent invention of time-travel, and the job of a ‘looper’: the hitmen responsible for disposing of the futuristic mobs’ victims. In addition to plenty of shots of Joe enjoying his well-paid lifestyle, the trailer packs in plenty of action. We also get brief looks at Jeff Daniels and Emily Blunt (though Paul Dano is limited to a series of background appearances).

The film, shot by Johnson’s regular cinematographer Steve Yedlin on 35mm celluloid, looks as fantastic as both Brick (2005) and The Brothers Bloom (2008). Like Brick, the film seems to be tight, controlled storytelling in a particular genre mode, while also offering the kind of deeper thematic complexities in which The Brothers Bloom revelled. Fingers crossed that Looper lives up to the high hopes.

Looper is due to be released in UK cinemas on 28 September, 2012.

David Sugarman