The 1984 adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune was a hit and miss film. Mixing science fiction and fantasy, and more of a space fantasy than science fiction, it only managed to grab a small legion of fans that would later make it a cult favorite. But unless your name is Star Wars, it’s difficult to get that sub-genre just right. Sibling writer/directors Andy and Lana Wachowski are rolling out their own version of space fantasy next weekend with the teenager-aimed movie Jupiter Ascending.
The Wachowskis are known for their Matrix series, their screenplay for V for Vendetta, as well as writing, directing, and producing Speed Racer and Cloud Atlas. What these films all have in common is a certain mash-up of sci-fi tech with often surreal, fantasy elements. Like the The Matrix’s cloaked reality, the written-directly-for-film Jupiter Ascending has its own cloaked world, hidden in plain sight. It also has a plot that could have been written by Frank Herbert. Yet instead of going for older viewers, the casting of Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum as romantic interest is looking to pick up the gap between the Twilight crowd and the next Divergent or whatever is coming next.
Three full trailers have been produced, revealing a Han Solo-esque Sean Bean and a Loki-esque Eddie Redmayne. The Wachowskis’ visual style seems to be a lighter twist on Guillermo del Toro’s fantasy world stylings. Extra special effects sequences supposedly are what caused the studio to bump the release date from last summer to February 6, 2015. The effects and outer space sequences might be enough to get die-hard sci-fi fans into the theater, especially since the film will have a version offered in IMAX3D.
After the break, check out the trailers for Jupiter Ascending, and see if this is one for the theater for you, one to wait for video, or one to pass on.