Posted on Thursday, May 31st, 2012 by Russ Fischer
Andy and Lana Wachowski have shot Cloud Atlas and are in post on that film, but they’re already prepping a movie that is being called in some corners a return to form for the siblings. (By which I expect people mean a movie that seems more like The Matrix than anything else they’ve done.)
We know that Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum are the likely leads, but so far that’s just about all we’ve known, other than the title: Jupiter Ascending.
Now some story and character details are finally starting to emerge, though there’s always the possibility with the secretive siblings that these points are either subject to change or deliberately misleading. But the film reportedly centers on an unlikely heroine, played by Kunis, who unwittingly poses a threat to one of the power players in the universe.
Vulture has a source that makes the film sound like a combination of whackadoo and something that could be a Luc Besson sci-fi premise. We begin with the establishment of a universe in which a fairly common sci-fi principle applies. Namely,
human beings are just the Cro-Magnons, or even the Australopithecines, of what beings can ultimately go on to become in the galaxy… these higher forms of life are watching us from other, albeit this time non-meta worlds, but actual, other worlds, as in planets and moons.
Those more evolved beings have evolved thanks in part to crossing human DNA with that of specific animal species, through which particular traits are heightened. Think of workers crossed with bee DNA to increase diligence and productivity.
From there we get into the actual plot, as the Kunis character, a Russian immigrant working a menial job, is found to “[possess] the same perfect genetic makeup as the Queen of the Universe and is therefore a threat to her otherwise immortal rule.” A killer (Tatum, presumably) is dispatched to eliminate her, but things get complicated, and there’s a developing love story.
It all sounds oddly typical, almost prosaic, especially after the ambition of Cloud Atlas. (Vulture jokingly compares elements to both of this year’s Snow White films, and there’s definitely a sort of sci-fi fairy tale vibe in this account. I just see, as implied above, a story akin to The Fifth Element.)
But there’s a lot missing from this rundown, and as is the case with the Matrix films, much of the appeal could well lie in the specific way in which all this is realized on screen. There is reportedly a role for Joeseph Gordon-Levitt, but his participation is not set or confirmed. And again, this is all to be confirmed as 100% legit.