Jupiter Descending? The Wachowski’s New Film is Delayed until February 2015
Science fiction fans had plenty of reason to groan last week when it emerged that Jupiter Ascending, an upcoming space opera directed by Lana and Andy Wachowski, had been delayed from July 18th 2014 to February 6th 2015, just seven weeks before the film was due to open.
Jupiter Ascending takes place in the near future in a universe owned by various royal alien families. When the ruler of the known universe dies, her heirs begin vying for control over their inheritance, and as it emerges that earthling Jupiter Jones’ (Mila Kunis) genetics deem her as an heir to Earth, she meets Caine Wise (Channing Tatum), a genetically engineered warrior from the stars who rises to the task of protecting Jupiter from the evil machinations of the other heirs to the universe.
The delay has brought the unwanted effect of stoking fears that the pair’s new project might be going the way of the sequels to the Matrix and the 2012 flop, Cloud Atlas; a film that divided critics and was described as ambitious and captivating in some circles, and an unparalleled disaster in others.
The official reason for the delay was a need for more time in which to complete the vast number of digital effects employed throughout the film. Despite several of the film’s effects being produced using practical stunts as supposed to SFX; the filmmakers employed a rig of six cameras attached to a helicopter, providing a 180 degree view of the action, in order to simulate Tatum’s characters’ use of antigravity boots; the huge set pieces associated with the production of a big budget Sci-Fi film appear to be affecting the film’s timetable.
With a budget of over $150 million, speculation is rampant over whether the production company, Warner Brothers, are simply pushing back the film’s release to work on the SFX, or whether the film is in need of major changes, stemming from a poor response in test screenings. Whatever the reason, Warner Brothers have had a mixed year; their big budget Godzilla reboot was a huge success, whilst Blended, a poorly received rom-com starring Adam Sandler, was negatively received by pundits and punters alike. Given this, there has been speculation that Warner wish to keep a low profile for the rest of the year in the face of competitors’ releases that include Hercules, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.
The big question, however, is whether or not Jupiter Ascending will make its way onto “best of the year” lists in 2015 or will it become the newest flop in The Wachowski’s repertoire? One thing is for sure though; Warner will be hoping that the delay fixes whatever issues exist with the film before it is finally released next year, though the delay has cast a shadow over what could be a refreshing franchise.