|Rian Johnson Director||previously directed The Brothers Bloom|
A futuristic hitman (Gordon-Levitt) recognizes one of his targets as his future self (Willis) and hesitates, letting the mark escape.
Shane Carruth, the director of Primer is working on the visual elements for the time travel aspects of the movie.3 More Trivia
There's a nod to Back to the Future, when Old Joe and Young Joe are both crouched behind cars.
3 More Quotes
This time travel crap just fries your brain like an egg.
|Joseph Gordon-Levitt||Joe Simmons|
|Bruce Willis||Joe Simmons|
|Emily Blunt||Sara Rollins|
|Noah Segan||Kid Blue|
|Qing Xu||Old Joe's Wife|
|See Full Credits|
Looper is a sci-fi time travel thriller where in a dystopian future a man is assigned to kill his future self.
Rain Johnson is the sole creator of Looper. He had started the story before the release of his film The Brothers Bloom, but he spent a few years before starting production in order to fine tune the script and secure funding.
The year is 2044 and everything sucks. Unemployment in the US is at an all-time high and gangs control everything. On the upside, a little under 10% of the population has developed telekinesis through a mutation, though it is such a mild form it can only levitate something as light as a quarter and cannot move it at significant speeds.
Joe Simmons is a 25-year-old hitman at this time. Time travel has not yet been invented, but thirty years from 2044 (so, 2074) it will be. Because with that time's technology it is near impossible to dispose of a body, gangs that want someone executed send the victim tied up with a hood over their head to be killed by someone in 2044 (time travel is very, very illegal, and few of these machines exist). Joe is one of the hitmen who executes these people. Tied to each victim are bars of silver, which are his payments. Joe receives the dates of when his targets will arrive by his boss, a gangster from the future named Abe. Joe finds the people out in a corn field and kills them. He then spends the nights blowing his money away while partying. He is mildly addicted to a futuristic drug that is injected into the eyes.
Joe, like all of his fellow assassins, knows that one day, one of the targets will be themself. They won't know it until after they have shot them, but they will receive a large sum of gold on the body. They then can retire and live out their days for the next thirty years until their death. This is known as "closing ones loop."
Joe's only real friend, another assassin named Seth Richards, shows up at Joe's penthouse one night in a panic. He says that when his most recent target came, he heard the guy singing a familiar song and realized it was himself. He didn't shoot and the guy escaped. Now the gang wants him. Joe reluctantly hides Seth with his stores of silver under a trapdoor.
A group of gangsters come looking for Seth. Joe denies knowing about his whereabouts. An inexperienced one named Kid Blue brings Joe to see Abe. Kid Blue accidentally shot off his own foot, something he is mocked about constantly.
Abe says that he isn't going to torture Joe for the information, but he will punish him for hiding Seth's whereabouts by taking away half of the money he has saved up. Joe says he is saving the money for his retirement, where he wants to move to France. Abe advises him not to, as something bad will happen in France in the near future. Abe then demands Joe tell him where Seth is, as having that loose end could mess up the future too much. Joe relents.
Old Seth is running when he sees scars appearing on his arm as if years ago someone had cut them in there. This is because what happens to his past self affects both the future and the future self's body. The writing tells him to get to a certain location ASAP. Old Seth then watches in horror as various apendages of his begin to disappear, for at this very moment the younger Seth is being maimed. Old Seth runs to the location, though by the time he gets there he is missing his arms, legs, and nose. There, Abe's men kill him.
Joe, feeling guilty about betraying his friend, goes to a prostitute he frequents, named Suzie, and offers to give him half of her money. She refuses.
Joe goes to get his next target, but it is himself. The man is not wearing a hood and Joe recognized it as his older self. Young Joe hesitates and Old Joe escapes.
Young Joe attempts to find Old Joe, but is cornered by Abe's gangsters. While attempting to flee, Young Joe falls off a fire escape and dies. This resets the continuity, as if Young Joe died Old Joe could never have come back to cause him to die.
Young Joe is standing in the field when Old Joe arrives, but this time Old Joe is masked by a bag. Young Joe shoots him and collects the reward. Following Abe's advice, he travels to China (this little tip from Abe is probably what originally caused Old Joe to come back unmasked). Over the next few years, Joe fritters away his money on drugs and a stupid lifestyle. He then becomes a professional thief. He meets a beautiful lady and falls in love. For her, he reforms. He buys a tranquil farm in the Chinese countryside and lives a peaceful life.
In the year 2074, a group of gangsters come to kill Joe (who now looks like Old Joe). Old Joe attempts to escape and the gangsters accidentally shoot his wife by mistake. Old Joe kills his wife's murderers and then jumps in the time machine himself.
Once again, Young Joe hesitates and Old Joe escapes. This time, though, Young Joe carves on his arm the name of the waiter at a diner near where Young Joe performs his hits. Old Joe meets him there and the two talk.
Old Joe explains that in the future, a powerful gangster named the Rainmaker is closing all the loops. The Rainmaker is very powerful and feared by many, though few have even seen his face. He has brought enormous bloodshed, causing the deaths of thousands. Old Joe had been doing research and discovered where and when the Rainmaker. He has narrowed it down to the three children born in a hospital at a certain time (they are now about ten years old). Old Joe shows a map where the three kids live. Old Joe says he is going to go kill them so that he can save his wife. He says that every moment he spends with Young Joe is messing up his memories and he isn't sure of everything, but he does know he loved her. Young Joe then tells Old Joe to simply show him a picture of the lady so Young Joe will know never to speak to her. Old Joe refuses, saying he wants to be able to live happily WITH her, not just have her live.
A group of gangsters (including Kid Blue) attack. Young Joe and the gangsters all try to kill Old Joe, but he escapes. Young Joe flees too, along with part of the map he took from Old Joe saying where one of the kids is. Young Joe decides to go there and wait for Old Joe, so he can kill him, make things right, and not end up like Seth.
Young Joe reaches the address, which is a farm where a robotic sprinkler hovers over the corn fields. An attractive woman with a shotgun tries to prevent him from entering, and shoots him when he doesn't leave. Fortunately, she had simply filled the gun with salt pellets. Young Joe explains that he thinks someone is going to kill her child but he wants to wait and kill the guy when he comes. Reluctantly, the woman--named Sara Rollins--agrees to let him stay, as long as he remains in the barn and doesn't talk to her and her kid.
Without his drugs, Young Joe becomes seriously ill as he goes through withdrawal. Sara lets him in the house in order to care for him. Young Joe meets Cid, who he instantly likes. Meanwhile, Old Joe goes to the first address and kills the child.
Cid says that Sara says she is his mom, but isn't really. Cid becomes angry at Sara and the whole room begins to shake. Sarah explains that she is telekinetic, but Cid is moreso. She had been a party-girl who had left her son--Cid--with her sister as an infant because she didn't want to take that responsibility. Cid accidentally killed her sister with telekinesis, so Sara came back to the farm where her sister had lived to raise him. She says that Cid is a very, very powerful telekinetic.
Joe begins to mentor Cid, and becomes his friend. He stars a romance with Sara; the two sleep together.
One of Abe's men shows up, looking for the Joes. Young Joe hides, but when the man threatens Sarah, Cid telekinetically causes him to explode.
Old Joe is at the house of the second child getting ready to kill him. The child is coincidentally the son of Suzie. Old Joe is just getting ready to shoot the kid when he gets the memory of Young Joe watching Cid display extraordinary telekinesis. Instantly realizing Cid must be the Rainmaker, he starts to leave. However, Kid Blue--who is desperately trying to impress Abe--shows up, having tracked Old Joe down. Kid Blue catches Old Joe by surprise and tazes him.
Kid Blue brings Old Joe to Abe, but Old Joe manages to break free (Kid Blue is not a skilled fighter). Old Joe kills Abe's men and fatally shoots Abe. Kid Blue sobs over Abe's body. It is implied that Kid Blue is the younger self of Abe.
Old Joe arrives at the farm. Young Joe attacks Old Joe, but Kid Blue--who followed Old Joe--arrives and begins to battle Young Joe. Young Joe is able to defeat Kid Blue (possibly killing him in a car crash, though likely not as this would likely reset continuity). Old Joe runs off to where Cid and Sara are trying to escape.
Cid loses control of his powers and begins to destroy everything. Sara is able to calm him down. As Cid stops using his telekinesis, Old Joe begins shooting at them. Sara begins to step between Cid and the bullet, dying instead.
Young Joe--who is watching from a distance--then explains via narration that at that point he sees what he should do. He realizes that if Old Joe kills Sara it will cause Cid to be filled with rage and hate and become the Rainmaker, thus killing Old Joe's wife and causing Old Joe to come back in time and kill Sara. It is an endless loop. The only way Young Joe thinks he can end it is by killing himself. He does. This causes Old Joe to disappear.
Sara and Cid hug.
Rian Johnson is the sole creator of Looper. He had started the story before the release of his film The Brothers Bloom. Right after completing work on that film, he set to work with its producer, Ram Bergman, on securing funding. At the same time, he worked on fine tuning the script.
Rian Johnson always intended the role of Young Joe Simmons to be played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, even naming the character after the actor. He had worked with Levitt before they became internationally famous, having teamed-up for Johnson's critically-acclaimed debut picture Brick. Levitt had also had a cameo appearance in The Brothers Bloom.
Bruce Willis joined the cast in May of 2010. Because he did not resemble Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Johnson went to legendary make-up artist Kazuhiro Tsuji to transform Levitt into something resembling Willis. Tsuji was very hesitant, as he believed it might not be possible. Eventually, though, he signed on.
Emily Blunt signed on to the film in October 2010, half a year after Willis. Noah Segan, Jeff Daniels, and Piper Perabo were cast in January 2011. Production began an entire year later, in January of 2012. Filming was relatively uneventful.
Rian Johnson recruited his cousin, Nathan Johnson, to compose Looper's score.
In the original script for the movie, much of the action was to take place in Paris, France. However, in order to get financing from Chinese entity DMG and get a release in China, these scenes rewritten to take place in Shanghai, China. This may have been necessary since China usually refuses to allow the release of films involving time travel, due to the possible detrimental effects on their culture.
After the film was shot, a few scenes were cut out to improve pacing. However, when test screened with Chinese audiences, Columbia Pictures found that in that country viewers preferred the movie when some of the scenes--ones which took place in Shanghai--were put back in. Therefore, the Chinese cut of the film is slightly longer and has more taking place in China.
The largest and most prestigious body of film critics, the Broadcast Film Critics Association, greatly appreciated Looper, bestowing it with five nominations at their Critics' Choice Awards. The nominations were:
Best Original Screenplay
Best Action Movie
Best Sci-fi/Horror Movie WON!!!
Best Actor in an Action Movie -- Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Best Actress in an Action Movie -- Emily Blunt
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