Last March it was announced that filmmaking siblings, the Wachowskis (The Matrix, Cloud Atlas), would begin work on a new sci-fi series for Netflix titled Sense8. This marks the second sci-fi project by the duo for 2014 as fans await the release of Jupiter Ascending (starring Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis), which hits theaters July 18.
The duo will also be working with Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski, who is no stranger to sci-fi on the big or small screen. Since the project was first announced, though, little information has been released about the details of the show, until now.
According to TVLine, the show will be centered on eight people (hence the name Sense8) who are all connected by a shared and violent vision. The lucky (most likely un-lucky) eight are complete strangers spread across the globe and are being drawn to one of two entities: one that is attempting to bring all eight together, and another that is trying to destroy them.
The characters include:
“…a closeted Mexican telenovela hunk, an Icelandic party girl, a German safe-cracker, a Korean businesswoman, an African bus driver and a transgender American blogger (a la Lana?). Perhaps most intriguing, though, are Jonas, an apparently magic African-American who appears to all of the “visionaries,” and his evil counterpart, Mr. Whispers (arguably the best-named villain since 'The X-Files’ Cigarette-Smoking Man).”
Production, set to start in June, will be quite the undertaking as shot locations include Seoul, Mumbai, Nairobi, Berlin, Mexico City, San Francisco, Chicago, and the UK. Although none of the lead roles have been cast, it’s safe to assume the actors will be as diverse as the film locations.
For sci-fi fans, any news about an upcoming Wachowski project is good news considering the siblings' past projects. Hopefully, Sense8 is no exception. The Wachowskis are good at establishing solid thematic elements to their stories that reveal concerns for the human condition. Originally, they mentioned that inspiration for the show came from “a late night conversation about the way technology simultaneously unites and divides us.”
It will be interesting to see how the siblings flesh out this classic sci-fi debate in Sense8, and with Netflix backing the project, they’ll be able to tell the story the way they want without worrying about week-to-week airings or messy (and often inaccurate) ratings. Additionally, fans will be able to (hopefully) devour the series in one sitting.
Then again, the Wachowskis aren’t infallible. Some of their work has been met with unfavorable reception, and the little bit of information we have about Sense8 isn't exactly groundbreaking, as far as storytelling goes. Let’s hope they manage to put a healthy spin on the good vs. evil trope and create another lasting piece of science fiction.
We’ll keep you posted as more information about Sense8 is made available.