Love them or hate them, the Wachowskis do not make small or boring films. Even flops like Speed Racer and Cloud Atlas are ambitious, visually unique, and push boundaries. Now that they’ve team up with J. Michael Straczynski and Netflix for the series Sense8, which should drop sometime later this year, they’re not planning to tone it done one iota, and they’re bringing some insane shit to the table.
In a recent interview with Io9 Andy and Lana Wachoswki revealed a little bit of what they have in store for your binge watching pleasure and lets just say it’s not all going to be what you expect. For instance, they have been filming live births, actual babies being born, to include, and you should also plan on Sense8 featuring “crazy psychic orgies.” Their words.
I have no idea what context these images will be used in, or what the hell a psychic orgy actually is, but I would be lying if I said I’m not intrigued as hell to find out. They didn’t say much about either topic, however, telling audiences that they’ll just have to tune in when the show arrives in May.
Sense8 is the story of eight different characters from around the world, including actors like Doona Bae, Naveen Andrews, Daryl Hannah, Brian J. Smith, Tena Desae, Freema Agyeman, Tuppence Middleton, and Terrance Mann. When a tragic death occurs, they find themselves mentally and emotionally connected across great distances, able to talk to one another as if in the same room and access each other’s deepest, darkest secrets. They’re also being hunted by someone named Mr. Whispers, a name that is simultaneously creepy and adorable. “Not only must they figure out what happened and why and what it means for the future of humanity, they must do so while being hunted by an organization out to capture, kill or vivisect them.”
As a result of this sweeping scale, the production has made stops around the globe, filming in places like “San Francisco, Chicago, Mexico City, Reykjavík, London, Berlin, Nairobi, Seoul, Mumbai.”
According to Andy:
We shot the show all over the world. One of the ideas of the show was to juxtapose location and culture. Putting these 8 disparate lives up against one another so that you can feel the differences and the similarities between all of us. And in doing so, we ended up having 100,000 miles of flight time for all of last year. That’s four times around the globe.
But it’s trying to get at the human question of how are we the same, and how are we different. Is there a universalness to the human condition or is it all culturally formed. Well that’s sort of an intellectual idea, we began to actually experience it as we were going through the journey. I was really enlightening and beautiful.
This is the siblings’ first foray into TV, or at least episodic storytelling (I guess you could argue that The Matrix was just three really big, spread out episodes if you wanted). Andy talked a bit about the differences working in the two mediums, saying:
Well, it’s really hard work, the TV gig, we’re finding. The density of your workday it’s manifold from what we’re used to. Right now we’re in the editing process. We finished the first four episodes and we’re cutting them basically an episode a week. By the end of two weeks that’s two hours. That’s basically a feature film. And basically on a feature film you get ten weeks. That’s DGA minimum.
Sense8 is slated for release this May. Each episode revolves around a single character, though with their connection, others will obviously come into play, exploring this mysterious link. The whole thing sounds big and ambitious, and though we were excited to see what they could do over a long form story, we’re even more pumped after hearing all the craziness that it entails. Their latest film, Jupiter Ascending opens Friday, and we’ll have a review of it later this week.