As follow-up to their insanely ambitious sci-fi epic Cloud Atlas, brother-sister directing duo Andy and Lana Wachowski are crafting another grand adventure with Jupiter Ascending. The screenplay penned by Andy and Lana is set in a universe where interplanetary travel is a reality, but mankind is thought to be among the lesser species in the galaxy. Channing Tatum stars as a genetically engineered bounty hunter called Caine, who has been hired by the Queen of the Universe to track down Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis), a lowly Russian maid who might be destined to threaten her throne.
Aside from an out of this world cast that includes Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne, Doona Bae, and Terry Gilliam, much of Jupiter Ascending remains a mystery. However, we've been given a peek into the world and action sequences that the Wachowskis have in store thanks to youtube reporter The Video Catalyst Project.
Jupiter Ascending is currently shooting on location in Chicago, Illinois. And this is where TVCP caught some shots of shooting in action. Up top, you can watch Tatum doing stunt rehearsals on Michigan Avenue, complete with pads, a wire rig, and other safety gear. If you listen closely, you can hear what may be a production assistant spelling out how this is part of a longer action sequence, involving gunplay and a chase. You can also hear one onlooker asking if this will be "a real violent movie," because she doesn't care for those. Um, lady, this is a movie from the makers of The Matrix centering on an assassin character. Spectacular violence is guaranteed.
Moving on from a rehearsal to the actual shoot, the clip below starts off with the film crew ready to roll. Tatum is now in costume, sporting what appears to be platinum blonde hair, fingerless gloves, a gun, and a leather jacket affixed with a complicated wiring rig that proves important later. You can also spot Lana Wachowski giving some notes to Tatum, and seemingly working to figure out the best blocking for this setup. Unfortunately, the video reporter is too far away to be able to hear anything terribly useful in this clip. But near the end, you can witness Tatum in action, firing some sort of laser gun before taking a mighty leap.
Expectations among critics are cautiously high for Jupiter Ascending. While reviews for Cloud Atlas were mixed, most critics agreed that the Wachowskis did an impressive job making a largely cohesive movie out of a book thought to be unfilmable. And while it was criticized for its casting choices, ardent philosophy, and some jarring prosthetics, the film reminded audiences what incredible worlds these daring directors could build. But between its directors, premise, cast, and the brief glimpses of its look above, Jupiter Ascending seems to have plenty to look forward to. Sadly, we'll have more than a year to wait, as the film will not hit theaters Stateside until July 25th, 2014.