House of Cards has established a model for success that future Netflix exclusive series are looking to replicate. That includes the belated fourth season of Arrested Development this year and then Sense8 in 2014 - with the latter arriving from the nerd power trio of filmmaking siblings Andy and Lana Wachowski (The Matrix, Cloud Atlas) and J. Michael Straczynski (creator of Babylon 5 and Jeremiah).
We first heard about the Wachowskis and Straczynski shopping Sense8 around to networks close to six months back, with the plot details kept under-wraps. There's now a short logline that clarifies (or something like that) how Sense8 is "a gripping global tale of minds linked and souls hunted," which is included within the press release about Netflix and Georgeville Television teaming for the 10 episodes that comprise season one.
Here are the official statements from the Wachowskis and Straczynski:
"We're excited to work with Netflix and Georgeville Television on this project, and we've wanted to work with Joe Straczynski for years, chiefly due to the fact his name is harder to pronounce than ours, but also because we share a love of genre and all things nerdy," said Andy and Lana Wachowski . "Several years ago, we had a late night conversation about the ways technology simultaneously unites and divides us, and out of that paradox 'Sense8' was born."
"We are proud to be working with Netflix on this new series," said Straczynski. "Lana, Andy, and I are fans of each other's creations, and have been looking for something to do together for nearly a decade."
The Wachowskis had previously tempted potential buyers with the promise that they will direct a few episodes on Sense8, launching the series in a manner similar to what David Fincher did with House of Cards. However, for the time being, it's not clear whether they are going to be involved in a capacity beyond producing and mapping the overarching storyline for the show with Straczysnki (side note: this trio has technically collaborated before, when Straczysnki co-wrote the script for Ninja Assassin, which the Wachowskis produced).
The sci-fi segments of Cloud Atlas were directed by the Wachowskis, who once again affirmed themselves as capable storytellers and trend-setters working in that genre (if you need proof, look no further than the shared qualities and similarities between the "After the Fall" section of Cloud Atlas and this year's post-apocalyptic sci-fi blockbusters Oblivion and After Earth).
Andy and Lana Wachowski are going to be shooting their next original sci-fi movie - which is titled Jupiter Ascending and stars Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum and Sean Bean - over the forthcoming months for a Summer 2014 release, so that could be an obstacle that prevents them from directing many (if any) episodes on the first season of Sense8. Hopefully, at the least, they will oversee the premiere, in keeping with the newfound tradition of having an established Hollywood director kickoff your show (ex. Jon Favreau directing the Revolution pilot, David Slade helmng next month's Hannibal premiere episode, etc.).
Of course, Straczynski is no slacker either - he's involved in the developing WWII series The Flickering Light, the horror show Living Dead: The Musical AND the fantastical series The Adventures of Apocalypse Al - so that could also have some effect on whether Sense8 arrives during the first or second half of 2014.
Stay tuned for more news on Sense8 as it becomes available.