People are so focused on the barrage of sequels and reboots coming in 2015 that it feels like they're overlooking some films that they're going to see sooner. One of the movies that I'm personally flipping out about is "Jupiter Ascending," the new science-fiction action film from Andy and Lana Wachowski.
While I'm a fan of all their films so far, I'm well aware of just how fanboys view them after "Speed Racer" and "Cloud Atlas." It's a shame, since there was a point where "a new sci-fi action movie from the guys who made 'The Matrix'" would have broken the Internet with the release of a new trailer.
I've been doing my best to stay quiet about everything I know about this film. I can say this, though… they're still not really showing you everything that's going on in the film, and they're not really telling you some of the coolest things about these characters. Channing Tatum's character Caine is, as we hear in the trailer, a hunter, but it's more than just training. He is genetically designed to be a hunter, and as such, he's got more than just human DNA bouncing around inside him. His ears, which you just glimpse a bit in the trailer, are the first clue that he's not exactly what he appears to be, and he's not the only modified character. I would love to see what Stinger looks like and who's playing him, but I don't think we even get a glimpse of him here.
There's also a line in the trailer that drops a pretty big piece of the puzzle into place, but I'm curious how many people will even catch the reference. Mila Kunis is the "Jupiter" that the title is referring to, and she's a house maid at the start of the film, basically eking out a living and miserable, and the film follows her once she learns something shocking about herself and realizes that the world around her is not what it once seemed to be. Sound familiar as a basic structure? You will be able to draw some pretty direct parallels between this and "The Matrix," but everything I've been told about the film sounds to me like it's aiming at something more fun than the underlying mythology of the extermination of all mankind like in "The Matrix."
I'm also surprised that we don't really get more than a fleeting glimpse of what the Wachowskis described as "the new bullet-time" when I spoke to them last year in Austin. Andy Wachowski in particular was excited about this big crazy action idea that they had, and he said that while it would be hard to pull off and he wasn't even completely sure they could do it, he felt like it would be worth the money and the effort to do something really crazy and new. I've had it described to me, and some of the sets I saw photos of appear to have been rigged to shoot the type of action, but it's also going to rely on effects to erase ramps and wires, and it may not be ready yet.
Oh... and the Wachowskis in 3D? Yes, please.
Here's the studio synopsis, which is more spoiler-heavy than the trailer at this point:
Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis) was born under a night sky, with signs predicting that she was destined for great things. Now grown, Jupiter dreams of the stars but wakes up to the cold reality of a job cleaning other people’s houses and an endless run of bad breaks. Only when Caine (Channing Tatum), a genetically engineered ex-military hunter, arrives on Earth to track her down does Jupiter begin to glimpse the fate that has been waiting for her all along—her genetic signature marks her as next in line for an extraordinary inheritance that could alter the balance of the cosmos.
I'm sure we'll see several more trailers for this, and at some point, Warner will cut one that will fully explain what's going on and why Jupiter is important and we'll see that action idea (a whole new way of handling chase scenes, basically) used to sell the film. But for now, this first trailer is a lovely announcement that the Wachowskis are back, and they're working in their comfort zone in a way that looks to be very, very exciting.
"Jupiter Ascending" will be in theaters July 25, 2014.