What happens when a hitman is ordered to eliminate himself?

Ask Joseph Gordon-Levitt and director Rian Johnson (‘Brick,’ ‘The Brothers Bloom’), who stopped by WonderCon in Anaheim to discuss their latest collaboration, ‘Looper.’ The time-travel thriller stars Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt, and reaches theaters on Sept. 28. As part of the marketing push, TriStar Pictures and FilmDistrict teased two photos of a gun-wielding Gordon-Levitt, who looks eerily like his co-star Mr. Willis.

The ‘500 Days (of Summer)’ star looks suspiciously like Willis as he strikes that ‘Die Hard’ pose, that’s because the two actors are playing the same character, just at different stages of his life. Try and follow this logic. ‘Looper’ casts JGL as a hitman working for the Mob who’s often hired to eliminate people who are going to be a problem in the future. Here’s where things get wrinkled, though. His latest assignment send him after Willis, who happens to be the future version of himself.

Are you confused yet?

Johnson’s screenplay should straighten things out, to a certain extent. While speaking to various media members in Anaheim, Johnson playfully admitted that time travel – as a concept – makes no sense, but opens all sorts of narrative rabbit holes that should be fun to explore. And that’s true. When it comes to time travel movies, we often don’t look for seamless logic. We just want the DeLorean to reach the wire at the moment the lighting strikes the clock tower.

Can Johnson, Willis and Gordon-Levitt achieve ‘Back to the Future’ levels of entertainment? Will they strive to go deeper into time-travel canon? We’ll find out in September, when ‘Looper’ finally opens, but for now, we’re more than intrigued.