Apple has released the first trailer for its highly anticipated sci-fi original Swan Song. The film stars Mahershala Ali in the lead role and marks the feature film debut of Irish filmmaker Benjamin Cleary. A stirring and futuristic film, Swan Song explores the themes of love, loss, and sacrifice. Two-time Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali plays a terminally ill man who becomes part of a cloning experiment to spare his family the sorrow of his death. But as we learn from the trailer, it’s not easy to let a stranger live your life, even if he is your carbon copy. Before you watch the trailer, check out the official plot synopsis for Swan Song below.
“Set in the near future, Swan Song is a powerful, emotional journey told through the eyes of Cameron (Mahershala Ali), a loving husband and father diagnosed with a terminal illness who is presented with an alternative solution by his doctor (Glenn Close) to shield his family from grief. As Cam grapples with whether or not to alter his family’s fate, he learns more about life and love than he ever imagined. Swan Song explores how far we will go, and how much we’re willing to sacrifice, to make a happier life for the people we love.”
The trailer opens with Cameron and Poppy (Venom 2 star Naomie Harris) preparing to welcome a baby. After a few shots of Cam happily spending time with family, we see Dr. Scott (Glenn Close) persuading him to try something. “I can’t lie to my family anymore,” says Cameron. Dr. Scott replies, “The second you tell your wife that you are dying, your opportunity to do this is gone.” We then see Cameron come face to face with his clone. A clone that not just looks like Cameron but also has his deepest memories. A thrilling moment further elevated by the beautiful cinematography and Moses Sumney’s “Doomed” playing in the background. The rest of the trailer shows Cam grappling with his dilemma and trying to figure out if he really wants a stranger living his life. “You’re not me”, he screams at the cloned Cameron near the end.
This was an impressive trailer for a film that seems to be Apple’s potential awards season contender. Swan Song is written and directed by Irish filmmaker Benjamin Cleary. He won an academy award for his 2015 short film, Stutterer. Swan Song will premiere on Apple TV+ and in select movie theaters on December 17, 2021. The film also stars Awkwafina and Adam Beach in supporting roles. Cleary recently told Empire how he came up with the story of Swan Song.
“When I was around 19, 20, 21, I lost three friends three summers in a row. I witnessed what that was like, and the ripples of grief that spread out from that, and just what it does to everyone around the person who’s gone. When someone dies suddenly, there’s no goodbye. I think I started to look at the world through a different lens around that time, and started to really think – probably far too much – about my own death and what it would do to those around me if I passed.”
Cleary has been wanting to make this film for a long time, and with such a talented cast, it’s destined to be an amazing movie. Be sure to stream Swan Song this December on Apple TV+ if you’re in the mood for a thought-provoking film.