Robert Pattinson Confronts Robert Pattinson as Bong Joon Ho Debuts Wacky, Bold ‘Mickey 17’ Trailer at CinemaCon

Allow Robert Pattinson to introduce himself again… and again and again.

He plays more than a dozen versions of the same character, Mickey Barnes, in director Bong Joon Ho’s upcoming sci-fi thriller “Mickey 17.”

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Bong, the Oscar-winning director of “Parasite,” brought a wacky, thrilling first look at the film to CinemaCon, the annual exhibition trade show that’s currently unfolding in Las Vegas. Through an interpreter, the Korean filmmaker described “Mickey 17” as a “story about a simple man who ultimately ends up saving the world. It’s a strange type of hero’s journey.”

It’s based on Edward Ashton’s novel “Mickey 7,” but Bong opted to ever-so-slightly change the name of the film to “Mickey 17.” The number reflects how many times the main character dies, so Bong teased, “I killed him 10 more times!”

Before theater owners at CinemaCon got a sneak peek of the trailer, which isn’t yet available to the public, Bong praised the power of the gigantic cinematic canvas behind him.

“I’m happy we can show the trailer on a big screen — and not on mobile phones,” he said to loud applause.

The never-before-seen footage of “Mickey 17” opens as Pattinson’s character applies for a job as an “expendable,” a disposable employee on a human expedition sent to colonize an ice planet. It doesn’t appear to be a coveted position, and even the company’s secretary is shocked that someone applied for this particular gig. “Once you die,” she explains to Mickey, “we print a new version of your body” with most memories intact.

On stage at Caesars Palace, Pattinson keyed into the motivation of his character, who is someone who has the “lowest expectations of his life, and life just keeps pushing those expectations lower and lower…” At various points in the trailer, Mickey goes through the wringer as he loses a hand (which then floats through space), gets doused in liquid metal, and encounters all kinds of dangerous ice on Niflheim, the planet where most of the film’s action takes place.

“Our entire life is a god-damn punishment,” he tells himself in the two-minute clip. Later in the trailer, Pattinson’s character implies he may not have read all of the fine print before he agreed to become an expendable.

Things go awry as one version of Mickey doesn’t die and a replacement clone comes to take his place, leading Pattinson to face off against another Pattinson.

“I don’t like you, but I’m you,” Pattinson, with an unplacable accent, tells his duplicate. He responds to himself, “I’m going to kill you.”

Turns out, it’s not so easy to destroy one of the Mickeys. One person offers, “Rock paper scissors, and we’ll shoot the loser?”

For what it’s worth, one of the Mickeys (it’s impossible to know which) laments that getting obliterated doesn’t become easier over time.

“I’m sure you’re used to it by now,” a character played by Mark Ruffalo, who co-stars in the film, says to Pattinson, “but what’s it like to die?”

Not so. Pattinson retorts, “On my 17th go around, I hate dying.”

When asked what made Pattinson, the star of franchises like “The Batman,” “Twilight” and “Harry Potter,” the perfect person to play Mickey, Bong cracked: “He’s got this crazy thing in his eyes.”

The director elaborated, “I felt like he could do all the different variations of Mickey in the story. He’s such a creative man.”

Pattinson called Bong his “hero” and recalled that before signing onto the movie, he was told, “You’re going to love the script, but the part is impossible.”

“That’s very exciting to me,” Pattinson teased.

“Mickey 17” also features Steven Yeun, Naomi Ackie and Toni Collette. It marks Bong’s first film since “Parasite,” which became the first non-English language movie to win best picture at the Oscars and the highest-grossing South Korean film in history. Before “Parasite” became a hit, Bong was known for acclaimed films like “Snowpiercer,” “The Host,” “Okja” and “Barking Dogs Never Bite.”

Warner Bros. will release “Mickey 17” in theaters on Jan. 31, 2025. The studio showcased the film as part of its hours-long presentation to theater owners. Warners also offered extensive looks at “Joker: Folie à Deux,” “Beetlejuice Beetlejuice,” “Horizon: An American Saga” and “Mad Max” prequel “Furiosa.”

“We are committed to making big crowd-pleasing event movies,” said Warner Bros. distribution chief Jeff Goldstein, who was dressed as Beetlejuice (the sequel to the 1998 Tim Burton movie will debut in September). “Nothing can replace it; nothing can replicate it.”

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