Mahershala Ali Considers His Future in the Trailer for Swan Song

Lotta clones happening lately. Clones on Foundation, having anxiety about the state of their souls. A very specific clone in The Book of Boba Fett. Clones in the Orphan Black podcast. And now clones in Swan Song, a movie that kind of looks like an ad for fancy, warm-wood-toned medical facilities and the nuclear family.

Here’s Apple’s summary, which is oddly vague about the film’s concept given that the trailer makes it very clear we’re talking about clones:

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.

If this story were told from the wife’s point of view, it would be horror: The person you love is dying, and secretly debating whether to replace himself with another person, and he doesn’t tell you any of this. Truly this is the stuff of nightmares.

The trailer delves instead into some very basic clone theory (Is the clone his own person? Can a clone replace a person? Has not everyone who watched a single solitary Star War prequel or animated show considered these things to some degree?) and focuses on Mahershala Ali’s beautifully expressive face. Not that anyone can be blamed for the latter.

Swan Song is the feature-film debut of writer-director Benjamin Cleary, whose “Stutterer” won an Oscar for Best Live Action Short. Along with Ali, it stars Naomie Harris, Glenn Close, Awkwafina, and Adam Beach. It’s in theaters and streaming on Apple TV+ beginning December 17th.


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