It’s two Mahershala Ali performances for the price of one in the upcoming Apple original film “Swan Song.” The science-fiction drama marks the feature directorial debut of Benjamin Cleary, who won the Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film with his acclaimed 2015 drama “Stutterer.” Ali plays a dying man who is presented with a cloning opportunity that would help his family avoid the grieving process. Starring opposite Ali is a supporting cast that includes Naomie Harris, Glenn Close, Awkwafina, and Adam Beach.
The official synopsis for the film reads: “Set in the near future, ‘Swan Song’ is a powerful, emotional journey told through the eyes of Cameron (Ali), a loving husband and father diagnosed with a terminal illness who is presented with an alternative solution by his doctor (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.”
“This started as a premise I had 10 years ago I’d stuck in a drawer, and then five years with the script, and when Mahershala’s name came up, I was like, ‘Can we even get him to just read it?'” Cleary told Deadline earlier this year. “He did, and we sat down and it became one of those conversations you sometimes have, where each minute you feel more energized and inspired. I could see within minutes I was sitting across from someone special, who was completely tuned into the heart of the script.
“After two hours, he said, ‘I’d love to do this,'” the director added. “We were delayed six months by COVID, and we used that time to speak about all the elements, and he had such a beautiful way of discovering all these little things within the story.”
“Swan Song” will be released in theaters and premiere globally on Apple TV+ on December 17. Watch the official trailer for the drama in the video below.