Andy and Lana Wachowski (the Matrix trilogy, Cloud Atlas) are preparing another original work of futuristic science fiction titled Jupiter Ascending, starring Mila Kunis as a Snow White-esque Ukranian immigrant who spends her days scrubbing toilets for a living - unaware that her perfect genetic structure poses a threat to higher-evolved beings, who are constantly keeping an eye out to make sure the "primitive" humans on Earth remember their place.
Warner Bros. has chosen a Summer 2014 release date for the Wachowskis' Jupiter Ascending, which is (no shock) releasing in 3D and features a male actor lineup that includes the likes of Channing Tatum, Sean Bean and Eddie Redmayne (Les Misérables). The project will be joining next year's growing slate of unique sci-fi offerings from proven filmmaking talent, as part of an ongoing "struggle" between that genre and superhero movies for the attention of cinema geeks (more on that subject later).
It may come as a surprise to learn that Jupiter Ascending is assembling together so rapidly, for those who recall that Cloud Atlas, which the Wachowskis co-directed with Tom Tykwer, only grossed $27 million domestically on an estimated $101 million budget. However, because that ambitious venture was funded by foreign sponsors and financiers - in combination with its cumulative global box office haul of $121.5 million - WB is probably going to reap a profit, when all is said and done. Jupiter Ascending should be an easier sell for U.S. audiences, as Kunis has been teasing a sci-fi extravaganza loaded with Matrix-style acrobatic combat sequences and wirework stunts (during her recent promotional work for Oz the Great and Powerful, that is).
The July 25th, 2014 date that WB has selected puts Jupiter Ascending on course (no pun intended) to open against Brett Ranter's Hercules comic book adaptation (starring Dwayne Johnson), while also facing off against the second weekend for Bryan Singer's X-Men: Days of Future Past. Marvel is unleashing Guardians of the Galaxy a week after Jupiter arrives, meaning there's going to be more than a healthy amount of competition for the geek crowd's attention during that period of the Summer 2014 blockbuster season.
Jupiter Ascending looks to make effective use of its cast, by featuring Tatum as the intergalactic bounty hunter who ends up protecting Kunis' biologically-flawless heroine (it reminds me of Bruce Willis and Milla Jovovich in The Fifth Element) and Bean playing "a Han Solo-like" scoundrel. Supporting cast member Douglas Booth is going to appear first in Darren Aronofsky's Noah retelling next year, while UK actress Tuppence Middleton is making her Hollywood debut in the Wachowski film; hence, there's potential for both to establish themselves as fan-favorites or breakout stars with their currently undisclosed roles (especially if Jupiter Ascending kicks off a new trilogy, as it's reportedly being designed to do).
Meanwhile, the 2014 pack of original science-fiction movies now formally counts the Wachowski flick among its ranks, in addition to Oscar-winning cinematographer Wally Pfister's directing debut Transcendence (starring Johnny Depp as a man-turned supercomputer), Christopher and Jonathan Nolan's film inspired by modern astrophysics, titled Interstellar, and director Brad Bird and co-writer Damon Lindelof's Tomorrowland (which may feature alternate dimensions and robot children). Excited yet?
Jupiter Ascending opens in theaters on July 25th, 2014.
Source: Warner Bros.
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