It’s been over two years since we first heard about the Wachowski siblings’ next cinematic effort Jupiter Ascending, and all we’ve been able to do in those two years was thank the high heavens they weren’t doubling the story count involved with Cloud Atlas and that they weren’t adapting another children’s cartoon into a candy-colored mess. Thankfully, Warner Bros. just released the film’s first official trailer, and it is a visual doozy, another example of the directing duo’s magnificent vision and ability to fill the frame. But I’m not entirely sure their storytelling skills are even in the same universe.
The plot behind Jupiter Ascending involves Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis), a Russian immigrant who discovers that Earth and its inhabitants are far less unique than assumed, and there are other worlds with far more advanced beings traveling between them. She discovers this because the genetically modified Caine (Channing Tatum with costume-shop Vulcan ears) comes to Earth to save her from an assassination plot conspired by the Queen of the Universe, with whom Jupiter shares the same perfect DNA. This fact is dangerous enough to the Queen’s reign that she needs Jupiter to die, and Sean Bean plays a man named Stinger who assists Caine in saving the young girl’s life.
To me, it sounds like a Disney movie if Disney flipped from animation to high-concept science fiction. I don’t expect to see any huge musical numbers, but there will probably be a fair share of clunky dialogue dealing with fate, destiny, and maintaining one’s individuality. The trailer plays the story out like a hero rescuing a damsel in distress, and it’s very much concerned with the “one person is more important than anybody else in the universe” narrative technique that has overly clogged up young adult fiction in the last decade or so. I want there to be more introspection involving the different species, particularly Caine, who shares his DNA with a wolf. I want there to be more nuance within the story, with less focus on the special boy saving the special girl. The Wachowskis have yet to tell a relatively uncomplicated story, and I certainly hope they don’t start here.
But even if their script does streamline the melodrama, at least we have the eye-bogglingly great-looking CGI. I’m not sure how I feel about the laser guns and the high-flying acrobatic fight scenes — I’d admittedly accept it if Neo appeared in the movie halfway through — but the world-building and outer space bits look pretty amazing. Here are a few of the more impressive screencaps I could pull out.
You can expect to see Jupiter Ascending tractor beaming audiences into theaters when it releases on July 25, 2014. Let us know in the comments if the visuals blew you away or if you were left cold by it all.