Karen Gillan and Aaron Paul Set To Star In New Sci-Fi Thriller Dual

Karen Gillan and Aaron Paul join the cast of a new sci-fi thriller called Dual, which is being written and directed by Riley Stearns.
dual - karen gillan and aaron paul

Karen Gillan is known for her role as Nebula in the Guardians of the Galaxy films as well as the female lead in the Jumanji films. And it looks like she’s not slowing down anytime soon, as she will be playing double duty in the upcoming sci-fi thrill Dual.

Dual is about a terminally ill woman who decides to have herself cloned to ease the pain of her passing for friends and family. But when she makes a miraculous recovery, her attempts to have her clone decommissioned fail and lead to a court-mandated duel to the death.


Karen Gillan will be playing the terminally ill woman and her clone. The title seems to have a double meaning referring both to the woman and her clone (both played by Gillan) as well as the duel to the death. Aaron Paul is also set to play one of the leads of the film. Paul, best known for his role on Breaking Bad, is currently on the third season of Westworld. Beluah Koale, Martha Kelly, and Jessse Eisenberg are also set to star. There are no details on who the other cast members will play.

Karen Gillan Returns To Sci-Fi Roots

doctor who - karen gillan

This high concept sci-fi thriller should be interesting, especially in a landscape full of adaptations and sequels. The script is written by Riley Stearns who will serve as director and producer alongside XYZ Films. Stearns wrote and directed the 2019 film The Art of Self Defense which also starred Jesse Eisenberg. After he is attacked on the street, a meek accountant enlists the help of a dojo led by a mysterious sensei to learn how to defend himself from future attacks. The Art of Self Defense is a dark comedy that at first seems to be similar to The Karate Kid, but quickly morphs into a look at toxic masculinity as taken to extremes similar to Fight Club

Stearns’ upcoming sci-fi film, Dual, has similarities to concepts looked at in the popular series Black Mirror. Exploring grief and copying a loved one to try and help with the loss. The concept of someone who is terminal preparing for their inevitable demise then miraculously recovering is interesting. Looking at what happens after not only the character, but her friends and family have prepared for the end only to now need to undo those plans is within itself a concept worth exploring. However, with the added science fiction twist of those preparations being a clone to replace you it takes the story to a whole new level. 

The question centering the film seems to be the ethics of what to do with the clone of Karen Gillan’s character after her miraculous recovery. What rights does the clone have? Is she considered a person as well? It looks like the government will think so considering Gillan’s characters will have to participate in a legal duel to the death. 

Another question that will likely be at the center of Dual is what Gillan’s characters friends and family will think. Does the clone have the same memories as the original? What will her relationships be like with the original’s loved ones? Seeing as the clone was created to ease the pain it doesn’t seem too far out of the realm of possibility that she will be identical in every way including memories. If she didn’t have the same memories and relationships then it would likely hurt more than help her loved ones. 

As of now Dual is scheduled to shoot later this summer, but that could change given the current COVID-19 pandemic having major effects on productions. It should be interesting to see what Stearns, Gillan, and the other stars create from this rich concept.

Are you looking forward to Dual? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or our social media.



Caitlin Tyrrell

Caitlin Tyrrell

Features Manager & Producer with The Illuminerdi. Caitlin has a deep love for storytelling of every kind. She is a huge fan of television, animation, and film, but Star Wars, the MCU, and Critical Role hold a special place in her heart.