News / Arts & Entertainment

Man Confronts Himself During Time Travel in 'Looper'

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce WIllis as "Joe" in TriStar Pictures, Film District, and End Game Entertainment's action thriller LOOPER.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce WIllis as "Joe" in TriStar Pictures, Film District, and End Game Entertainment's action thriller LOOPER.
Alan Silverman
In  the new action-drama Looper, writer-director Rian Johnson blends science fiction with film noir. The movie tells the story of a man confronting his own future. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis star as the main character.


"Time travel has not yet been invented. But 30 years from now it will have been."

In the movie, Joe, the narrator, is a killer for hire in a not too distant, dystopian future.



"I am one of many specialized assassins called 'loopers.' So when criminal organizations in the future need someone gone, they zap him back to me and I eliminate the target from the future. The only rule is: never let your target escape …even if your target is you."

In fact, that's the dilemma that Joe confronts when he looks at his last intended victim.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the younger version of Joe. He resists calling Looper a science fiction film.

"The time travel is kept very simple in Looper because it is not really a movie about time travel," he says. "It's a movie that uses time travel as a sort of springboard to get at what is ultimately a very basic, human story and a drama."

Bruce Willis co-stars as the older version of Joe.

"It was a very emotional process," admits Willis, "and a very emotional day-to-day activity of just trying to make it look real and trying to deal with the idea that when I look at Joe [Gordon-Levitt] it's really me and trying to make that be honest and believable."

Gordon-Levitt says his performance was helped by makeup that made him look more like Willis.

Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as "Joe" in TriStar Pictures, Film District, and End Game Entertainment's action thriller LOOPER.
Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as "Joe" in TriStar Pictures, Film District, and End Game Entertainment's action thriller LOOPER.
"I think as much preparation as I had done on the character before the makeup was all finished, I remember when we did the final test and I really saw him for the first time, there was something that clicked over [to say] that's the guy," he says.

Writer-director Rian Johnson says the challenge was to come up with both a character and a situation with which audiences could connect.

Writer/ Director Rian Murphy and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as "Joe" in TriStar Pictures, Film District, and End Game Entertainment's action thriller LOOPER.
Writer/ Director Rian Murphy and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as "Joe" in TriStar Pictures, Film District, and End Game Entertainment's action thriller LOOPER.
"Obviously it is an outlandish thing using time travel to put a man in front of the older version of himself," admits Johnson, "but what that boils down to is just an amplified version of an older man and a younger man [saying to each other] 'I'm not going to turn into you' and 'what are you doing with your life? You're doing it all wrong. Trust me, I know this.' It is a conversation we've all been on one side or the other …or maybe both sides of at various points in our lives."

Looper also features Jeff Daniels as the manipulative crime boss. English actress Emily Blunt and Chinese screen star Summer Qing play important women in Joe's life.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Soul Lounge

"Soul Lounge" host Shawna Renee catches up with soul singer and songwriter Russell Taylor to hear what he’s been up to since winning the VH1 "You Oughta Know" title in 2013. She also convinces him to share a few songs from his album "War of Hearts."