“We share genetics. Childhood. I want to know how you became so different.”

The trailer for Counterpart, a new espionage series set to air on Starz, has dropped. Oscar-winner J.K. Simmons will lead the cast in Counterpart and play not one, but two roles.

There seems to be an allure to playing doubles among established Hollywood actors. I suppose there’s some kind of challenge involved in acting opposite yourself, especially in something as intense as a spy/sci-fi/thriller mash-up like Counterpart. Here is the show’s official synopsis:

Counterpart is about a mysterious world hidden beneath the surface of our everyday existence. Howard Silk (Simmons) is a lowly cog in the bureaucratic machinery of a Berlin-based United Nations spy agency. When Howard discovers that his organization safeguards the secret of a crossing into a parallel dimension, he is thrust into a shadow world of intrigue, danger, and double cross… where the only man he can trust is his near-identical counterpart from this parallel world. The show explores themes of identity, fate and lost love, posing the eternal question, ‘what if our lives could have been different?'”

By now, we’re very familiar with creepy, tech-y dystopian worlds; those that are practically completely washed out in grey and mechanized to the finest detail. It’s a classic trope that remains relevant to explore. Hence, Counterpart is as much about acting talent as it is about the setting. Simmons will star alongside Olivia Williams (An Education), Harry Lloyd (Game of Thrones), and Nazanin Boniadi (Homeland), to name a few of the cast.

Many would be familiar with Simmons’ work as explosive characters such as J. Jonah Jameson in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man series and the world’s scariest drum instructor in Whiplash. But he also played the awesome dad in Jason Reitman’s Juno. Counterpart looks to take ‘the duality of man’ to a whole other level. Watch the trailer:

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