Preview: First trailer for Ayoade's 'The Double'

Richard Ayoade is best-known for his role as the technically adept but socially awkward Maurice Moss on British sitcom The IT Crowd, but with 2010's Submarine he proved that he had skill behind the camera as well. As such, his follow-up - simply entitled The Double (2013) - is highly anticipated for more reasons than just its impressive cast. The film has just had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, and now a brief but nonetheless eye-catching trailer has hit the web. Loosely based on Fyodor Dostoyevsky's 1846 novella of the same name, The Double sees the timid and shy Simon (Jesse Eisenberg) being driven insane by his charismatic doppelgänger James, who is slowly taking over his life.

Soundtracked by Son House's Grinnin' in Your Face, the wordless trailer doesn't give much away, but still manages to be plenty alluring. Quick glimpses of the main players are interspersed with a long shot of Simon, with James joining him at the end of the footage. Even in posture, the difference between the two is clear, and needless to say the idea of seeing an introverted Simon butting heads with his confident lookalike is an intriguing premise. It's a dream role - albeit an extremely challenging one - for an actor and after impressive turns in David Fincher's Oscar-winning The Social Network (2010) and the recent Now You See Me (2013), this character represents the next level up for Eisenberg.

If early (and hugely positive) reports coming out of Toronto are to be believed, it would seem that Eisenberg and Ayoade are more than up to the task of bringing their own interpretation of Dostoyevsky's text to life. The relationship between Simon, James and Mia Wasikowska's love interest, Hannah, will doubtless be at the forefront, although it's hard to predict just how that dynamic will play out from the footage. The Double's strong supporting cast also includes Wallace Shawn, Noah Taylor, Chris Morris, Rade Serbedzija, Cathy Moriarty, Gemma Chan, James Fox, and Yasmin Paige.

Richard Ayoade's The Double will be released in UK cinemas in early 2014.

Amon Warmann

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