Jupiter Ascending

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Jupiter Ascending
'Jupiter Ascending' Theatrical Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Produced by
Written by
  • The Wachowskis
Starring
Music by Michael Giacchino
Cinematography John Toll
Edited by Alexander Berner
Production
company
Distributed by
Release dates
Running time
127 minutes[2]
Country
  • United States
  • Australia
Language English
Budget $175 million[3]

Jupiter Ascending is a 2015 space opera[4] film written, produced, and directed by The Wachowskis. The film is centered on Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis), a down-on-her-luck janitor, and Caine Wise (Channing Tatum), an interplanetary warrior who informs Jones that her destiny extends beyond Earth. Supporting cast member Douglas Booth has described the film's universe as a cross between The Matrix and Star Wars[5][6][7] while Kunis named its underlying themes as indulgence[8] and consumption.[9][10][11]

The film is co-produced by Grant Hill, who acted as executive producer on The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions and as producer on V for Vendetta, Speed Racer, Ninja Assassin, and Cloud Atlas, making Jupiter Ascending his seventh collaboration with the Wachowskis. Several more longstanding Wachowski collaborators since the creation of The Matrix films have contributed to the picture,[12] including production designer Hugh Bateup, visual effects supervisor Dan Glass, visual effects designer John Gaeta, supervising sound editor Dane Davis and costume designer Kym Barrett. Other notable past collaborators include Speed Racer's composer Michael Giacchino, Cloud Atlas' director of photography John Toll along with its editor Alexander Berner and hair and make-up designer Jeremy Woodhead, who worked on both.

Plot[edit]

Unknown to Earth's residents, life on Earth and countless other planets has been seeded[13] by families of alien royalty[14] for the purpose of harvesting the evolved living creatures once they reach a "Darwinian state of perfection" to produce a type of youth serum that allows them to live forever.[15] When the matriarch of the House of Abrasax, the most powerful of the alien dynasties, dies[9] her children Balem (Eddie Redmayne), Kalique (Tuppence Middleton), and Titus (Douglas Booth) are at war over the inheritance. Eventually a new heir comes to their attention: Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis), an unsuspecting, Earth-living, unlucky caretaker of other people's homes.[16] Jupiter encounters Caine Wise (Channing Tatum), a genetically engineered interplanetary warrior, who came to Earth to reveal that her genetic signature makes Jones royalty and heir to Earth. Meanwhile, he has to protect her from Balem, who put a bounty on her head and would rather harvest Earth than lose it to Jones.[17]

Cast[edit]

  • Mila Kunis as Jupiter Jones, an unsuspecting, unlucky, Earth-born janitor whose genetic structure marks her as royalty and the heir to Earth. Kunis describes her character as unhappy with her job and life, but also lazy and with no aspirations to do anything about it, until Caine finds her.[9]
  • Channing Tatum as Caine Wise, a genetically engineered ex-military hunter. Caine is a defective genetic splice, half-albino and with both wolf and human DNA.[18] He has a tremendously powerful sense of smell that allows him to track a gene through the Universe.[19] Tatum had to wear a mouthpiece to change the shape of his lower jaw, which prevented him from closing his mouth and gave him trouble when he had to talk. Before casting Tatum, the directors queried him not only about whether he was up to the challenge physically but also about his personal belief and life experience with what love is.
  • Sean Bean as Stinger Apini, a "Han Solo-type character".[20] Stinger is spliced with bee DNA, which gives him some of their characteristics: wings, speed, special vision and a sense of loyalty. Stinger was in the military with Caine but when Caine got into trouble and Stinger stood up for him, his wings were removed and he was exiled to Earth.[9] He lives a normal life on Earth along with his daughter, who he describes as the only good thing he's done in life, until she falls ill and in need of a special nectar.[11]
  • Eddie Redmayne as Balem Abrasax, alien royalty whose family engages in the planetary business, trading in youth serum.[9] He is the elder of the three Abrasax siblings and serves as the main antagonist of the film because he wants Earth for himself.
  • Douglas Booth as Titus Abrasax, Balem's brother. Booth describes his character as "a bit of a playboy" mentioning his spaceship, as described in the script, is a cross between a Gothic cathedral and the Playboy Mansion.[9]
  • Tuppence Middleton as Kalique Abrasax, Balem's sister. She approaches Jupiter and befriends her, but like her brothers she has ulterior motives.[9]
  • Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Famulus, a half-human, half-deer genetic splice.[21][22]
  • David Ajala as Ibis, the leader of the cyber hunters pursuing Jupiter and Caine.[23]
  • Charlotte Beaumont in a small part as Stinger's daughter.[24]
  • Terry Gilliam in "a small but vital part"[25] in a scene that is an homage to Gilliam's Brazil.[26]
  • Oleg Nasobin as Zeno[27]
  • Vanessa Kirby as Katharine[28]
  • Edward Hogg as Chicanery Night[29]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

In 2009 Warner Bros' president Jeff Robinov approached The Wachowskis about creating an original intellectual property and franchise. Development began two years later, with the production and visual effects teams doing pre-production work based on a first draft of the script, while The Wachowskis were shooting the future segments of Cloud Atlas.[9] The story was partly inspired by Lana's favorite book,[30] the Oddysey.[31] "It was making me super-emotional." says Lana. "The whole concept of these almost spiritual journeys and you’re changed." Another inspiration was The Wizard of Oz which Lana contrasts to the Odyssey. "Dorothy is pretty much the same at the end as she is at the beginning. Whereas Odysseus goes through such an epic shift in his identity."

Production design[edit]

Producer Grant Hill and visual effects supervisor Dan Glass note The Wachowskis never repeat themselves. Hill describes the design as an original take on the look of space environments while Glass mentions it was influenced by cities around Europe rather than science fiction touchstones. Examples include Renaissance architecture, modern glass and Gothic art.[9]

Filming[edit]

The film is a co-production between the United States' Warner Bros. Pictures and Australia's Village Roadshow Pictures.[32] Roberto Malerba and Bruce Berman serve as executive producers.[33] Principal photography commenced at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden on April 2, 2013. Filming also took place at Ely Cathedral in England.[34][35] The production remained in the London studio through June, then moved to various locations in Chicago, Illinois throughout late July and August.[33] Minor reshoots to clarify plot points[3] took place in January and early May of the next year, the latter of which took place in Bilbao, Spain.[36] This is cinematographer John Toll's second feature film he is shooting digitally, using Arri Alexas and Codex Recorders, after Iron Man 3,[37] in part due to the visual effects element.[38] Legend3D is handling the stereoscopic conversion of the film, having recently integrated the Mistika post-production software into their pipeline.[39] Vision3's Chris Parks is the stereoscopic supervisor of the film.[40][41]

An eight-minute long chase sequence, code named "Fifty-Two Part" by the film's crew, depicts Jupiter and Caine fleeing from aliens and spaceships in downtown Chicago shortly after they first meet. It was the longest sequence in the script, involving some of the film's most difficult stunts. To complete it, Kunis and Tatum had to film every day for six months.[11]

Effects[edit]

Several of the film's effects rely heavily on practical stunts instead of CGI. Tatum has noted there was minimal use of digital doubles and instead most stunts were done by the principal actors or stuntmen attempting to match the pre-vis sequences.[19][42][43][44] For the scenes of Tatum's character flying using antigravity boots, Glass reveals his team invented a way to use stuntmen instead of doing them digitally, despite the limited available time to shoot them.[45] They created a rig of six cameras, called the Panocam, which was mounted on a helicopter and covered nearly 180 degrees of the action. During post-production, the directors could combine the overlapped filmed footage, essentially creating a camera that could swing around the action independently of the helicopter's actual flying path. The invention piqued the interest of other directors who have subsequently used it in their own movies.

Visual effects vendor Framestore used Vicon T40 cameras for pre-vis and motion capture purposes, the same camera system they used in the visually acclaimed Gravity.[46]

Music[edit]

The film's music was composed by Michael Giacchino, who also scored the Wachowskis’ 2008 film Speed Racer.[47] On June 10, 2013, Giacchino tweeted that Ludwig Wicki was conducting the film’s score at Abbey Road Studios in London.[48] In August, Giacchino stated: “We’re actually recording all the music first, before they’re even done shooting. It’s been done sort of backwards, and it’s much more freeing doing it that way. I’m not locked down to any specific timings and what the film is doing. I can do whatever I want. It opens up a lot more possibilities.”[49] The Wachowskis first used this approach during production of Cloud Atlas at the recommendation of co-director Tom Tykwer who has made all his movies this way, and have since commented they will never make a movie without recording the music first.[50]

Reception[edit]

The movie received a "secret screening" at the Sundance film festival which was by invitation only and didn't include members of the press. Variety's Ramin Setoodeh reported that the theater was half empty,[51] a handful of patrons walked out during the movie and once it finished reactions were mixed.[52] An attendee is quoted as having hated it for being "just ridiculous" while screenwriter Neville Kiser liked it and commented that the PG-13 movie would fare better with the intended audience of teenagers. Setoodeh reported many people were in agreement that the choice of Sundance was odd.[53]

Release[edit]

The film was initially to be released on July 25, 2014,[54] but it was later shifted to July 18, 2014.[55] On June 3, 2014, the film's release was delayed to February 6, 2015 due to additional time needed to complete over 2,000 special effects shots of the film[56] and prepare an effective marketing campaign.[3] The film is scheduled to also be released in IMAX 3D along with its competitor Seventh Son from Universal Pictures.

Jupiter Ascending had a surprise premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 27, 2015 at the Mary G. Steiner Egyptian Theatre in Park City.[57]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Film Distribution - Village Roadshow Limited". Village Roadshow Pictures. February 11, 2014. Retrieved February 11, 2014. 
  2. ^ "JUPITER ASCENDING (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. January 14, 2015. Retrieved January 14, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c "‘Jupiter Ascending’: Can Warner Bros. Avoid Another Wachowski Misfire?". Variety. Retrieved June 17, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Wachowskis hope to surprise with next film, 'Jupiter Ascending' - MSN Movies News". Movies.msn.com. October 27, 2013. Retrieved May 28, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Douglas Booth interview: 'Romeo and Juliet is a scary prospect' - Movies Interview". Digital Spy. October 11, 2013. Retrieved June 13, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Why Jupiter Ascending's Douglas Booth Makes Us Swoon | InStyle". News.instyle.com. Retrieved June 13, 2014. 
  7. ^ Jen OrtizPhotograph by Matthew Brookes (January 4, 2014). "Interview with Romeo and Juliet Actor Douglas Booth". Gq.com. Retrieved June 13, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Mila Kunis Full Interview - Ellen Show May 9, 2014". YouTube. Retrieved June 13, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i Total Film, Summer 2014, issue 221
  10. ^ Lavery, Christian (February 20, 2014). "Five questions: Mila Kunis". NYLON Guys. Nylonguysmag.com. Retrieved June 13, 2014. 
  11. ^ a b c SFX, August 2014, issue 250
  12. ^ "New Trailer For ‘Jupiter Ascending’ With Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis Released". Geeksofdoom.com. March 26, 2014. Retrieved June 9, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Jupiter Ascending Comic-Con Footage Recap - /Film". Slashfilm.com. Retrieved July 26, 2014. 
  14. ^ "10 iconic movie characters to watch this summer". Usatoday.com. April 27, 2014. Retrieved May 28, 2014. 
  15. ^ Empire, August 2014, issue 302
  16. ^ Collura, Scott (March 26, 2014). "Watch the New Trailer for The Wachowskis' Jupiter Ascending - IGN". Uk.ign.com. Retrieved May 28, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis Reclaim Earth in New 'Jupiter Ascending' Trailer (Video)". TheWrap. March 27, 2014. Retrieved May 28, 2014. 
  18. ^ Chitwood, Adam (June 22, 2013). "Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx Talk JUPITER ASCENDING & SPIDER-MAN 2; Tatum Says He Plays a "Hybrid Wolf and Human"". collider.com. Retrieved June 23, 2013. 
  19. ^ a b Chris HeathPhotograph by Sebastian Kim (January 4, 2014). "Channing Tatum on How Kanye West Influenced Jupiter Ascending". Gq.com. Retrieved June 9, 2014. 
  20. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (February 5, 2013). "Sean Bean Joins Lana And Andy Wachowski's 'Jupiter Ascending' At Warners". deadline.com. Retrieved April 20, 2013. 
  21. ^ "‘Beyond the Lights’ star can’t believe her ears in ‘Jupiter Ascending’". Chicago Entertainment - Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved November 28, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Gugu Mbatha-Raw admires Wachowskis - TV3 Xposé Entertainment". Tv3.ie. May 1, 2014. Retrieved May 28, 2014. 
  23. ^ Patten, Dominic (March 27, 2013). "Movie Castings: Chris Elliot & J.K. Simmons Join Hugh Grant RomCom; 'Jupiter Ascending' Adds David Ajala". deadline.com. Retrieved April 20, 2013. 
  24. ^ Sharon Lougher (June 7, 2013). "The US beckons for Broadchurch’s Charlotte Beaumont | Metro News". Metro.co.uk. Retrieved February 14, 2014. 
  25. ^ Gilliam, Terry (May 16, 2013). "Timeline Photos". Retrieved May 16, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Interview: Terry Gilliam On Rewriting 'Don Quixote,' His Role In 'Jupiter Ascending' & Lacking Diplomacy | The Playlist". Blogs.indiewire.com. Retrieved February 14, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Oleg Nasobin". IMDb. 
  28. ^ "Vanessa Kirby Actress A Street Car Named Desire Interview Pictures (Vogue.com UK)". Vogue UK. Retrieved November 22, 2014. 
  29. ^ Earnshaw, Helen (May 29, 2013). "The Comedian Exclusive Interview". Femalefirst.co.uk. Retrieved February 14, 2014. 
  30. ^ "Brothers Unleash the Comic Book of Ideas". nytimes.com. April 5, 1999. Retrieved January 30, 2015. 
  31. ^ Don Steinberg (January 29, 2015). "‘The Matrix’ Creators Launch a New Epic With ‘Jupiter Ascending’ - WSJ". WSJ. Retrieved January 30, 2015. 
  32. ^ The Deadline Team (February 20, 2013). "Village Roadshow Boards The Wachowskis' 'Jupiter Ascending'". deadline.com. Retrieved April 20, 2013. 
  33. ^ a b Warner Bros. Pictures (April 15, 2013). "The Wachowskis' Jupiter Ascending Starts Filming". comingsoon.net. Retrieved April 20, 2013. 
  34. ^ "Mila Kunis at Ely Cathedral for Jupiter Ascending filming". April 24, 2013. 
  35. ^ "Fans hoping to catch a glimpse of Mila Kunis". April 24, 2013. 
  36. ^ "Wachowski siblings in Bilbao - Euro Weekly News Spain". Euroweeklynews.com. May 10, 2014. Retrieved June 9, 2014. 
  37. ^ "Production Roundup – Yeoman, Fiore, Miranda, Steelberg and Toll « Parallax View". The ASC. July 18, 2013. Retrieved February 14, 2014. 
  38. ^ "John Toll, ASC Relies on Codex for Iron Man 3". Codexdigital.com. Retrieved February 14, 2014. 
  39. ^ admin (March 28, 2014). "SGO Mistika | Legend3D Continues to Set the Pace with SGO Technology". Sgo.es. Retrieved July 26, 2014. 
  40. ^ Ian Christie Updated: March 11, 2014 (March 11, 2014). "Digital native: Chris Parks | Sight & Sound". BFI. Retrieved July 29, 2014. 
  41. ^ "Vision3 | Stereo 3D Production Expertise". Vision3.tv. Retrieved July 29, 2014. 
  42. ^ "Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx Talk JUPITER ASCENDING and SPIDER-MAN 2". Collider.com. Retrieved June 9, 2014. 
  43. ^ "‘Jupiter Ascending’ Takes Channing Tatum To Places He’s ‘Never Gone Before’". MTV. Retrieved June 9, 2014. 
  44. ^ "Mila Kunis Talks Working With Channing Tatum on Jupiter Ascending: He Literally Saved My Life | E! Online UK". Uk.eonline.com. March 28, 2014. Retrieved June 9, 2014. 
  45. ^ By Erik Sofge (May 30, 2014). "The Real-Life Science Behind The Summer's Most Outrageous Sci-Fi Movies | Popular Science". Popsci.com. Retrieved June 9, 2014. 
  46. ^ "Framestore Uses Vicon T40 Cameras for Pre-Vis on Gravity, Jupiter Ascending". Digital Cinema Report. November 21, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2014. 
  47. ^ filmmusicreporter (March 5, 2013). "Michael Giacchino to Score 'Jupiter Ascending'". filmmusicreporter.com. Retrieved April 20, 2013. 
  48. ^ "Twitter / m_giacchino: Ludwig Wicki Conducting the". Twitter.com. June 10, 2013. Retrieved February 14, 2014. 
  49. ^ "SFX239 Preview: Composer Michael Giacchino On Jupiter Ascending". SFX. August 20, 2013. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  50. ^ Sepinwall, Alan (October 10, 2012). "An epic interview with the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer: From Cloud Atlas to Jupiter Ascending". Hitfix.com. Retrieved June 13, 2014. 
  51. ^ "Ramin Setoodeh on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved January 29, 2015. 
  52. ^ "‘Jupiter Ascending’ Debuts to Muted Crowd at Sundance". Variety. Retrieved January 29, 2015. 
  53. ^ "Ramin Setoodeh on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved January 29, 2015. 
  54. ^ The Deadline Team (March 14, 2013). "WB Dates Wachowskis' 'Jupiter Ascending', Shifts De Niro-Stallone 'Grudge Match'". deadline.com. Retrieved April 20, 2013. 
  55. ^ "Wachowskis' 'Jupiter Ascending' Moves Up a Week to July 18, 2014". TheWrap. December 11, 2013. Retrieved February 14, 2014. 
  56. ^ McNary, Dave (June 3, 2014). "Jupiter Ascending Delayed Until February 2015". Variety. Retrieved June 5, 2014. 
  57. ^ Ramin Setoodah (January 27, 2015). "‘Jupiter Ascending’ Debuts to Muted Crowd at Sundance". Variety. Retrieved January 28, 2015. 

External links[edit]