Brow Beat

Gemini Man Is Actually a Libra

An astrological examination of the new Will Smith movie.

A young Will Smith in profile from the neck up faces an older Will Smith in profile, against a light blue backdrop.
They’re Gemini men, but they’re also not. Paramount Pictures

Astrology has never been more popular, so a Will Smith movie with the title Gemini Man would seem to have all the ingredients of a 2019 slam dunk. But I regret to inform you that Gemini Man has absolutely nothing—zilch—to do with astrology. Lame! And what’s more, Gemini Man is not even a Gemini. It’s a Libra. I’ll explain. (This piece contains astrological spoilers for Gemini Man.)

In the movie, Gemini is the name of a secret government cloning project, though it only ever seems to have cloned one guy, Will Smith’s Henry Brogan. That clone, known as Junior, is a younger version of Henry, sent to assassinate the older agent when he has outlived his usefulness to the government, using the clone’s innate knowledge of all of Brogan’s strengths, weaknesses, and instincts. Gemini is the Latin word for twins, so it’s actually not a great name for a secret government project—any idiot who’s ever read the horoscope pages is going to guess it has to do with cloning. Especially in the astrology-happy times in which we live. Perhaps Clive Owen’s character Clay Verris and his lackeys named the project 20 years ago when astrology was less hot and deserve a mulligan on that one? In any case, they should have thought of something both more top-secret and that wouldn’t have perked up the ears of all the astrology hobbyists out there, who again, will not find much of the Zodiac in this film.

Gemini is of course the sun sign of people born between May 21 and June 21, which is when this movie should have come out to take full advantage of astrological synergy. By the way, it’s not that all Geminis are twins or clones; astrologically, it tends to be understood that each Gemini has a dual nature, or two sides to his or her personality. But if we take Gemini Man’s Oct. 11 release date as its birth date, that puts the film squarely in Libra season. Libra is a fine sign with much to recommend it, but in the case of this particular Libra, Slate’s Sam Adams pronounced its screenplay “clunky” and its high-frame-rate 3D a “failure.” (A charming Libra himself, Smith is the movie’s biggest asset.)

Indeed, some of the movie’s flaws do seem tied up in the more negative characteristics of Libras. As the aesthetes of the Zodiac, Libras can be ahead of their time to a fault and would naturally be drawn toward the high-frame-rate 3D technology that undergirds Gemini Man, even as they might be, like director Ang Lee, optimistic to the point of naiveté about its utility. Libras care deeply about how things look, and Gemini Man may look great, but that alone doesn’t a movie make. In being obsessed with balance, Libras can also sometimes be guilty of indecision and trying too hard to please everyone, which would explain why this compromise of a movie—cutting-edge visual technology mixed with a paint-by-numbers plot—may ultimately please no one.

But listen, I’m no professional, so I took the liberty of looking up Libra’s October horoscope. Here’s what Susan Miller of Astrology Zone says: “If your birthday falls on October 11, plus or minus four days, you will have extraordinary help from Jupiter—more than you expect.” This seems like a good sign, box-office–wise: Jupiter is the planet that rules wealth. Vice, meanwhile, had this to offer: “Financial blessings arrive as your ruling planet Venus enters Scorpio on October 8; however, Venus opposes Uranus on October 12, bringing a bit of chaos … This can be an exciting energy, even though unexpected events may occur, especially when it comes to your finances.” Basically, the positions of the planet indicate that it’s anybody’s guess how this movie will do. And let that be a lesson to you: You can take the astrology out of Gemini Man, but you can’t take Gemini Man out of astrology.