Rachel Weisz Delivers Double the Trouble in Prime Video’s “Dead Ringers”
The world needs more of Rachel Weisz. This is made evident anytime the abundantly talented performer appears in anything, and now, thankfully, we’ll be getting a double dose of her in Prime Video’s new series Dead Ringers (streaming on Prime Video on April 21), which is a new take on David Cronenberg’s deeply unsettling 1988 film. Weisz plays both Elliot and Beverly Mantle, a pair of twins who share everything—and we do mean everything. Whether it’s lovers, drugs, or the willingness to eschew medical ethics in their pursuit to bring women’s healthcare to the forefront, the Mantle twins are in lockstep. Beverly and Elliot are doctors, but unlike in Cronenberg’s original film, the new series is a much more female-centered take, with Weisz playing the twins as doctors determined to remake a medical field they find dehumanizing and demeaning to women. The lengths they’ll go to do this, however, are extreme. While Dead Ringers isn’t a straight adaptation from Cronenberg’s original, the series is by no means a polite, easy-going affair.
The Mantle sisters are OG-GYN superstars at the fictional Westcott Memorial Hospital in New York. Beverly has had several miscarriages and really wants a child. She’s sensitive, thoughtful, and buttoned up. Elliot, on the other hand, yearns for control. She’s impetuous, hedonistic, and cruel. Elliot is also more than happy to play god; one of her pet side projects is to see how long she can gestate an embryo outside of a womb. And this barely scratches the surface of where Dead Ringers goes.
So what are the critics saying? The unsurprising but unanimous reaction is that Weisz is sensational in the dual roles, while the adaptation puts a fresh spin on Cronenberg’s body horror freakout.
The first two episodes come from director Sean Durkin, with horror maestro Karyn Kusama (Jennifer’s Body, Girlfight) also onboard, alongside fellow directors Karena Evans (P-Valley, Snowfall), and Lauren Wolkstein (A Friend of the Family, Y: The Last Man)
Here’s a quick peek at some of the reactions thus far:
— Collider (@Collider) April 17, 2023
#AppointmentViewing: This month, we become Rachel Weisz stans — twice over — and get a double dose of her on Dead Ringers, an addicting and unsettling miniseries about twin gynecologists adapted from the 1988 David Cronenberg film. @tv_scholar reviews https://t.co/A8A3WpYGgp
— New York Magazine (@NYMag) April 18, 2023
I very much enjoyed the Rachel Weisz DEAD RINGERS show. Very gross and gory and twisted and sexy. https://t.co/DP0ATtZfA9
— Meghan O’Keefe (@megsokay) April 17, 2023
Dead Ringers TV review — Rachel Weisz is superb as identical twin doctors in dark thriller https://t.co/bRbKp1oPMA
— Josh Spero (@joshspero) April 18, 2023
— The A.V. Club (@TheAVClub) April 17, 2023
— TV Guide (@TVGuide) April 17, 2023
Check out the trailer below:
Here’s the synopsis for Dead Ringers:
A modern take on David Cronenberg’s 1988 thriller starring Jeremy Irons, Dead Ringers will feature Rachel Weisz playing the double-lead roles of Elliot and Beverly Mantle, twins who share everything: Drugs, lovers, and an unapologetic desire to do whatever it takes—including pushing the boundaries on medical ethics—in an effort to challenge antiquated practices and bring women’s health care to the forefront. The series’ ensemble cast includes Britne Oldford (The Umbrella Academy, American Horror Story: Asylum) as Genevieve, Poppy Liu (Hacks, iCarly) as Greta, Michael Chernus (Severance, Orange is the New Black) as Tom, Jennifer Ehle (Zero Dark Thirty, Saint Maud) as Rebecca, and Emily Meade (The Deuce, The Leftovers) as Susan.
Filmmaker Sean Durkin (Martha Marcy May Marlene, The Nest, The Iron Claw) directed the first two episodes and co-directed the last episode of the series. Durkin also serves as an executive producer. The directing team also includes Karyn Kusama (Jennifer’s Body, Girlfight), Karena Evans (P-Valley, Snowfall), and Lauren Wolkstein (A Friend of the Family, Y: The Last Man).
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Featured image: Rachel Weisz in “Dead Ringers.” Niko Tavernise/Prime Video