Jupiter Ascending cross-pollinates the Snow White fairy tale with Japanese pop culture influences to create a piece of sci-fi folklore and futuristic mythology, as imagined by filmmakers Andy and Lana Wachowski (The Matrix, Cloud Atlas). The project begins shooting this year, with Mila Kunis starring as the diamond-in-the-rough protagonist: an ordinary human woman whose perfect genetic structure threatens the reign of higher-evolved beings.
Channing Tatum costars as the bounty hunter hired to find and kill Kunis, only to turn around and become her protecter. The remainder of the cast is steadily filling out, including Eddie Redmayne (Les Misérables) in an unspecified role.
Deadline is reporting that Sean Bean has come aboard the Wachowskis’ new sci-fi project, referencing his character – named Stinger – as “a Han Solo-type” who is supposed to be noticeably older than Tatum (according to the script). The actor’s a welcome addition to the proceedings, but his tendency to die gruesomely onscreen in whatever role he plays – be it Boromir in Lord of the Rings, Ned Stark in Game of Thrones, or his lesser-known characters in sci-fi films like Equilibrium and The Island – make his involvement something of a warning flag, as far as the longevity of any character he plays goes.
Tatum says Jupiter Ascending is a reinvention of the sci-fi/action genre, while the fundamental plot and character details suggest the Wachowskis are preparing a dense backstory for the film’s fantastical universe in advance; that may allow for a multi-installment sci-fi saga on par with the non-prequel Star Wars trilogy (e.g. better pre-planning than on both Matrix live-action sequels and Animatrix spinoff). Hence, the Han Solo comparison seems fitting; not to mention, a roughneck with a heart-of-gold type is a good match for Bean’s masculine presence. Who knows, he might even be alive by the time the end credits start rolling… maybe.
Wachowski pictures like Bound, The Matrix, Cloud Atlas (read our review) and, yes, even Speed Racer demonstrate the siblings’ affection for geek pop culture and genre. Even with their Racer and Atlas adaptations, they continue to strive towards revitalizing familiar pop genre aesthetics by mixing and splicing them together – in an effort to create a daring and innovative product. True, the final results do not always turn out well – and have earned the duo a reputation for being divisive – but even their worst output possesses some quality making it memorable.
Sandy Schaefer blogs at Screen Rant.