Possible SPOILERS for The Lunar Chronicles Book Series by Marissa Meyer.
This summer I saw photos at Io9 of some of the characters from the upcoming film, Jupiter Ascending, looking like something straight out of Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette crossed with albino-ed Cyberpunk, but I admit that until today, I knew little else of the new Wachowski sibling film –I also somehow missed the memo about Larry becoming Lana some time in the last three years, but whatever. It really is none of my business what gender a person wants to be, and I hold no judgment about the issue other than I love Lana’s be-dreaded, Kool Aid-colored, Raggedy Ann hairdo–so let’s take a look at what this new Sci Fi film from the genius, Wachowski sibling team is supposed to be about
Well, this film is set in the future and will star Hollywood’s latest bland beefcake, Channing Tatum and the exotically cute and sensual, Mila Kunis. The latter portrays a lowly janitor who discovers she has a unique genetic destiny that may be linked to the Queen of the Universe. Evidently, Caine, a half human/half wolf mutant, played by Tatum is sent to kill Jupiter, the janitor (hee) and it all has to do with that pesky genetic destiny. As much as I love a Wachowski film and was looking forward to this new release, it just sounds a little too much like the great YA book series, The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer (Cinder and Scarlet are the two books of the planned four that have been released so far.). Both have a lower class, menially employed, female character with an odd tie to an intergalactic queen and also have a male mercenary sporting the added bonus of wolf DNA. How exactly are they getting away with putting out a film that sounds so much like an already established book series? Have The Lunar Chronicles been optioned and this is the result? Is this film not based on these books and there are going to be enough differences that the similar constructs will not matter? Will we even care once we see this film? I just don’t know based on the information that has been released.
For my part, I hope this outing is better than some of their previous ones. The Matrix was an inspired work of immense Dystopian beauty, but the sequels were less than stellar and a bit tedious, and Cloud Atlas, their most recent endeavor, didn’t do so well, commercially. I am still pretty excited about seeing this release, although I am not at all a fan of Channing Tatum, so that does put a bit of a dampener on some of my enthusiasm. I am hoping the rest of the cast, the writing, and the direction will save the film from Tatum’s wooden acting. Of course, much the same as been said of Keanu and The Matrix was somehow his exception from his usual acting approach, so perhaps the Wachowskis are preternaturally adept at working wonders with a fit, but previously mediocre actor. Visually, from what photos have been released, it looks to be a spectacle, but a great film has to provide more than just visual titillation. Here’s to hoping it has some tooth to it beyond its visual appeal and that it doesn’t mine Marissa Meyers’ books much further than the premise already suggests.
- Channing Tatum: Shirtless for ‘Jupiter Ascending’ (justjared.com)
- Photos: The Wachowskis Film Jupiter Ascending In Chicago (chicagoist.com)