Reminiscence: All About Hugh Jackman’s Sci-Fi Movie

Here's everything you need to know about Reminiscence, a Hugh Jackman movie coming out soon.

By Rick Gonzales

This article is more than 2 years old

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While fans continue to enjoy the always humorous back-and-forth “feud” banter between Hugh Jackman and Ryan Reynolds, hoping that Jackman will eventually capitulate and play Wolverine one last time, Jackman continues to crank out movies not associated with X-Men. His latest is a trippy science fiction film called Reminiscence and though it’s not due to hit screens, big or small, until August 2021, we do know a little bit about the film.


Hugh Jackman stars as Nick Bannister in Reminiscence. His character is a former interrogator during the war, and is now a private investigator. He is able to use memory technology invented for the war to help people access memories, or to help them relive happier times. He is a solitary man though he shares his business with Watts, played by Emmy Award-winning actress Thandiwe Newton.


Along with Hugh Jackman and the aforementioned Newton, Rebecca Ferguson (Doctor Sleep, Mission: Impossible franchise) is another main cog in the story. Jackman and Ferguson do have a past, both having starred in the 2017 hit The Greatest Showman where Jackman played P.T. Barnum and Ferguson starred as Jenny Lind.

Daniel Wu, Cliff Curtis, Natalie Martinez, Brett Cullen, and Marina de Tavira also star.


For those who may not know Lisa Joy, you may be familiar with her work from the HBO series Westworld. Joy, along with husband Jonathan Nolan (younger brother to director-extraordinaire Christopher Nolan), co-created Westworld, which was based on the late Michael Crichton novel and subsequent 1973 film of the same name. Joy, who has a hand in many of Westworld’s scripts, also has spent time in the Westworld director’s chair to prepare her for her first feature film directing debut.

According to Joy, the genesis of her story for Hugh Jackman’s Reminiscence, which she wrote, happened while she was in the English countryside visiting her grandparent’s home after her grandfather’s death. Joy was always intrigued by a plaque on the home “announcing the name of the home, as if it were some kind of grand manor.” While looking through his belongings, Joy came across an old photograph of a beautiful young woman. Written on the back of the photo was a woman’s name – the same name of her grandparents’ home.

Realization hit her. The fact that her grandfather had a relationship at one time so intense that he named his house after her, never speaking of the woman, struck a chord. It gave way to Joy thinking about memory, and lives, in general, and how moments can pass by, eventually disappearing. She wondered how nice it could be to go back and live those memories in full.

Joy has been putting pen to paper for five years, conceiving the story for the Hugh Jackman movie. She knew exactly how she wanted her story to play out. She could see each big set-piece; she knew exactly how the action was to unfold. Joy even began to draw the artwork for what she envisioned her Reminiscence world would look like. She also saw herself directing the movie. Using her experience behind the camera on Westworld helped her nab the director’s chair for her passion project.



As with Joy’s Westworld, the plot behind Reminiscence is fairly complex. Hugh Jackman’s Nick is living an unsatisfied life. Though he brings happiness to his customers, his business is struggling. Newton’s Watts is there for him, though, being the friend and partner he needs.

Nick’s world finally comes alive when Ferguson’s Mae walks through their door. She needs Nick’s help remembering where she left a set of keys. Things immediately heat up between the two as they begin a torrid love affair. This comes out of the blue for Nick, wholly unexpected, but something he easily falls into. Until Mae disappears.

Nick needs to find Mae and in the process delves into a dark world that leads him to the Chinese-American criminal kingpin St. Joe (Wu). As Nick gets closer and closer to finding Mae, he uncovers her past, one that puts her square in the middle of a series of violent crimes.


Obviously, the heart of the story is built around Hugh Jackman’s character and his love for Mae and what he feels she reciprocated. But is it true love or an obsession? Can they be one and the same? According to filmmaker Lisa Joy, via Deadline, “This entire thing, the heart of it, is this love story.” What is real and what isn’t. Is Nick able to search through Mae’s past to get the answers he needs as well as find the love he’s lost? When, and if he does, what will come of it?


Reminiscence is set in a not-too-distant future Miami. Though the war has ended, the damage lingers on. Miami finds itself now half-flooded, so the city is surrounded by walls to hopefully ward off the slowly rising sea. The weather has become unbearably hot, so daytime for most is time to sleep and nighttime is time to come out and live.


With the release of the trailer for Reminiscence, which can be seen below, fans get a peek at some of the hologram technology used. Apparently, and according to stars Hugh Jackman and Newton, the technology seen on screen is real and not some CGI effect.

Per Newton, via Slash Film, the hologram tech is a “new piece of technology that was innovated for this project.” She also mentioned that it was something they could literally see while shooting their scenes.

Hugh Jackman piggybacked on Newton’s revelation, first stating wonderment at the hologram technology but also noting that when he first saw it in action “it broke my heart that audiences might not believe that this is real.”


Warner Bros., in their announcement to show all their big releases simultaneously in theaters and HBO Max, has set an August 20, 2021 release date. So, for the film’s first month, audiences will be able to see it either in movie theaters or steaming via HBO Max, which after 30 days, the film will be removed from HBO Max until the film’s normal home media release schedule timeframe.