While The Matrix creators Lana and Andy Wachowski have yet to truly capture the public’s imagination – and cultural zeigeist – the way their 1999 sci-fi hit did, few could argue that it’s due to a lack of ambition. They followed their Matrix trilogy with a big-budget Speed Racer update, and their 2012 opus Cloud Atlas spanned multiple time frames and featured stars like Tom Hanks and Halle Berry in multiple roles.
Their next film, the upcoming Jupiter Ascending, reaches beyond our planet into the realm of the galactic to follow Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis), a humble housekeeper who learns that not only is humanity just a small part of a vast interplanetary corporate system run by the cold-blooded Balem (Eddie Redmayne), but Jupiter herself is the reincarnation of royalty, and destined to rule Earth.
Like the recent UK trailer for Jupiter Ascending, a new international spot (watch it above) presents us with the most streamlined overview of the film’s plot we’ve seen yet. As Jupiter is thrust into her role as our planet’s savior, she’ll have help in the form of Stinger (Sean Bean), who has been modified with bee DNA and lives on Earth as an exile, and Caine (Channing Tatum), who is half-albino and part wolf.
Despite a shaky CV since their halcyon Matrix days, the thought of a sci-fi space opera from the Wachowskis is still an exciting idea. That said, the fact that the movie’s release was moved from the summer of 2014 to February of 2015 was not a good sign, given that the early months of the year are generally where studios slide projects with shaky financial prospects.
Still, the $150 million film’s complex visual effects reportedly needed more time for polishing, and from what we’ve seen, the CGI-heavy environments and effects do indeed look very strong.
Can the Wachowskis regain their box office clout along with the critical respect they earned with Cloud Atlas? Mila Kunis seems well-suited for the lead role, and while this new trailer seems to spoil her character’s arc (from naif to tough ruler), showcasing the popular Kunis alongside Channing Tatum (who really sells his wolf-warrior part) is a smart marketing play.
We’ll see if the Wachowskis and Warner Bros. can keep some PR momentum going throughout awards season and the holidays. Stay tuned for more as the marketing push inevitably ramps up.
Jupiter Ascending will be released on February 6th, 2015.