Following their ambitious (if not entirely successful) adaptation of David Mitchell’s unfilmable Cloud Atlas, Andy and Lana Wachowski are diving back into the bioluminescent waters of epic sci-fi. Starring Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum, Jupiter Ascending (2014) appears rife with echoes of the directors’ break-out hit The Matrix (1999) and its two sequels, but clearly has a very different texture. The first footage from their new blockbuster has now arrived in the form of an initial trailer, encouraging audiences to “expand their universe”. The character who will be having their own universe expanded is cleaner Jupiter Jones (Kunis) who, much like a certain Mr. Anderson, is unaware of her true, untapped potential.
It seems that her DNA marks her out as the next possible Queen of the Universe and as such she a threat to the throne’s current incumbent. Luckily, a leather-clad warrior type, Caine (Tatum), is on hand to save her and open her eyes to the galaxy of world’s and beings beyond the grasp of lowly humanity. And protect her, of course. Supporting them is the likes of Sean Bean, Doona Bae and Eddie Redmayne. For those concerned that this is just a re-hash of their previous trilogy, the trailer quite comfortably illustrates that this is a far cry from the green-hued techno action of Neo and co. If the directors are returning to past themes, it’s via their experiences on Speed Racer (2008) and the aforementioned cyberpunk trilogy.
This time round the Wachowskis are clearly aiming for space opera rather than that all too familiar brand of gritty, dystopian sci-fi. The weapons glow, the spacecraft are sleek and Tatum’s half-albino, semi-lupine soldier wouldn’t look out of place charging into battle alongside Aslan. Andy and Lana are both renowned for pushing the envelope and the trailer’s mix of intergalactic politics, inventive action and impressive visuals should mean that the end result is interesting at the very least. Alternatively, Jupiter Ascending could provide the same sort of groundbreaking spectacle that saw its directors redefine a genre. Take a look at the trailer below and let us know what you think.
The Wachowskis’ epic new space opera Jupiter Ascending is released in UK cinemas on 25 July, 2014.