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You’d be forgiven for thinking that the personal mantra for the Wachowski siblings must go big or go home. We’re not talking about people who craft small, subdued little indie films here. Since Bound, the first film from Andy and Lana, they’ve delivered nothing but sprawling, highly-stylized, special effects heavy, science fiction actioners. The duo isn’t fond of telling simple stories, either. Just look at their last film, Cloud Atlas, which had multiple actors playing multiple characters across a variety of historical epochs. Regardless of how you feel about their body of work, you have to give them credit for ambition. There just aren’t a ton of filmmakers out there consistently turning out massive sci-fi epics that also want to make you think. From all indications, their next film, Jupiter Ascending, should fit right into the niche the Wachowski’s have carved out for themselves, and by that I mean big and strange.
Strange seems to be the best way to describe the Wachowski’s next film. After all, Mila Kunis plays a Russian peasant who becomes a target for the Queen of the Universe after it comes out that the two have identical DNA. Throw Channing Tatum into the mix as a sort of albino wolf man, and romantic interest, and you have the makings of a very unusual movie.
Talking to the AP outside an Australian awards banquet, Lana Wachowski said, “It’s a science-fiction space opera…It has a lot of things from a lot of genres that we love. It’s got a lot of original action, it’s got a lot of romance.”
She went on to address the sibling’s penchant for the unusual and their seeming inability to restrain the size and scope of each successive film:
We seem not to be very good at making small things. We keep saying ‘Let’s go make a small movie.’ But then they always end up being enormously complex…want to somehow always find something that is different or that no one has tried.
Again, in an age where everything is a sequel, a reboot, or some other new term for rehash, it’s nice that there are still people out there willing to take risks and do something bold and original, even if it means falling on their face in the process. While many critics praised the film, Cloud Atlas tanked at the box office.
Jupiter Ascending is currently in post-production, and according to Andy Wachoswki, they have encountered far fewer potholes and speed bumps than last time out. Considering how layered and intricate their films usually are, it’s saying something serious when Andy calls the special effects work on their latest project, “way more complicated” than normal.
And because a movie of this size and scale isn’t enough to keep them busy, the Wachoski’s are scheduled to begin pre-production on an original Netflix series called Sense8 in January. The ten episode run, which the siblings developed with J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5), seeks to explore the ways that technology simultaneously unites and divides us. Sense8 should hit streaming sometime late in 2014, while Jupiter Ascending is set to launch July 25 of next year.