Cloud Atlas (which was co-directed by Tom Tykwer and the Wachowski siblings) is everything the filmmakers behind it had promised – big, brash, beautiful, and daunting in scope – but it’s for similar reasons that critical reactions have been all over the board, while the U.S. box office turnout has proven to be disappointing. Fortunately, those poor financial results are not going to prevent Andy and Lana Wachowski from venturing forward with more original (and innovative) projects – including, their new mysterious sci-fi film Jupiter Ascending (starring Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum).
Warner Bros. (which is the studio behind Jupiter Ascending) and IMAX struck a deal this week to release some 20 titles over the next three years, beginning with such post-converted 3D films as Jack the Giant Slayer and Man of Steel. However, Film Stage has noted that the Wachowski film is also listed as a 3D project, which suggests it could be natively shot in that format (or, at the least, will be designed with the intention of taking advantage of what the extra dimension has to offer).
The Wachowskis’ traditional approach to photographing action seems a natural fit for 3D; just imagine had the bullet-time sequences in The Matrix been filmed in the format – or, if you dare, how much more of an unhinged sensory-assault Speed Racer could’ve been. Moreover, directors such as Martin Scorsese (Hugo), Ang Lee (next week’s Life of Pi), and Michael Bay (Transformers: Dark of the Moon – yes, we are serious) have shown that 3D filmmaking can thrive as a unique form of visual storytelling – rather than just a gimmick for upping the ticket cost. So don’t be surprised if the Wachowskis cook up some crazy cinematography in order to bring Jupiter Ascending to life.
Here is a short synopsis for Jupiter Ascending (for more, check out our full plot breakdown):
A recent Russian immigrant — played by actual Ukrainian immigrant Mila Kunis — who is busily scrubbing toilets for a living. Unbeknownst to her, she actually possesses the same perfect genetic makeup as the Queen of the Universe and is therefore a threat to her otherwise immortal rule… Pretty soon, a bounty hunter [Tatum] of the evolved-being type is dispatched to dispose of [her] but, as you’d expect with a Matrix re-dux, they fall in love.
Many of our readers have already pointed out that there are traces of Snow White (and even Prometheus) in Jupiter Ascending‘s DNA, but by now it should be clear that is the Wachowski siblings’ modus operandi – namely, they tend to draw direct inspiration from older pop culture, but remix and tweak those elements enough to make the final result their own. It’s hard to not appreciate them for it, in an age where straight-up rebooting and remaking previous titles is the more popular route to take…
Principal photography on Jupiter Ascending is slated to begin early next year. We will keep you up-to-date on pre-production progress in the meantime.