It appears that the Wachowskis struggles at finding an audience for their epic SF films is continuing. The latest casualty is the super-expensive Jupiter Ascending, which although buoyed by a decent overseas haul (where it was #1 this weekend) managed a mere $18 million domestically, against a more than $200 million (estimated) price tag, not even including marketing.
The brother/sister team of Andy and Lana Wachowski hit it big with The Matrix in 1999, and since then have been trying to develop big epic SF movies. But with now three straight box office flops – the live action revival of Speed Racer, the complicated Cloud Atlas, and Jupiter Ascending…the Wachowskis may need to sets their scope smaller for a while.
We didn’t know a lot about the upcoming Netflix series Sense8, from Andy and Lana Wachowski with J. Michael Straczynski, but now we know who will be in it, and a bit more on what it is about.
According to Deadline, the international cast includes U.S. actors Daryl Hannah (Splash, Kill Bill Vols. I and II), Brian J. Smith (Stargate Universe) and Terrence Mann (The Dresden Files); British actors Naveen Andrews (Lost, Sinbad, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland), Freema Agyeman (Doctor Who, Torchwood), Tuppence Middleton (Sinbad, Trance), and Aml Ameen (Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Harry’s Law); Mexican actors Alfonso Herrera and Erendira Ibarra; Indian actress Tena Desae (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel); South Korean actress Doona Bae (Cloud Atlas); and German actor Max Riemelt (The Wave), along with Jamie Clayton and Miguel Silvestri.
“The series follows eight characters around the world who, in the aftermath of a tragic death, find themselves linked to each other mentally and emotionally,” co-showrunner J. Michael Straczynski told Deadline. “They can not only see and talk to each other as though they were in the same place, they have access to each other’s deepest secrets. Not only must they figure out what happened and why and what it means for the future of humanity, they must do so netflix-logowhile being hunted by an organization out to capture, kill or vivisect them.”
Finally, there are a few details about the upcoming Netflix series Sense8, from Andy and Lana Wachowski (The Matrix Trilogy) and showrunner J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5).
According to TV Line:
The sci-fi drama will focus on eight people scattered around the globe who are connected by a shared — violent — vision. (Because it’s never a vision of kittens, is it?) Each episode — shot in the UK, Seoul, Mumbai, Nairobi, Berlin, Mexico City, San Francisco and Chicago — will follow the characters’ separate stories, even as one entity tries to bring the octet together and another tries to kill them.
Among the regulars (as yet uncast) are: a closeted Mexican telenovela hunk, an Icelandic party girl, a German safe-cracker, a Korean businesswoman, an African bus driver and a transgender American blogger (a la Lana?). Perhaps most intriguing, though, are Jonas, an apparently magic African-American who appears to all of the “visionaries,” and his evil counterpart, Mr. Whispers (arguably the best-named villain since The X-Files’ Cigarette-Smoking Man).
With JMS running the show, I’m sure the story will be compelling and told well…next up, director and cast!
Sense8, the sci-fi drama which marks the first foray into the television format from Andy and Lana Wachowski, has been picked up for 10 episodes by Netflix. Georgiaville TV and Reliance Entertainment are producing in association with Studio JMS (the studio set up by J. Michael Straczynski last year.)
Details of the show are scarce, other than it being describes as “A gripping global tale of minds linked and souls hunted.” The Wachowskis said, “We’re excited to work with Netflix and Georgeville Television on this project, and we’ve wanted to work with Joe Straczynski for years, chiefly due to the fact his name is harder to pronounce than ours, but also because we share a love of genre and all things nerdy.”
Sense8 is expected to be released in late 2014, with all 10 episodes released simultaneously.
Brother/sister dynamic duo Lana and Andy Wachowski will return to SF with Jupiter Ascending, their first major foray into science fiction since the megahit The Matrix trilogy. Jupiter Ascending is an original idea from the team, and Warner Bros is starting casting for a Spring production start. No details on the plot, but hopefully it turns out better than their last film, the 2008 bomb Speed Racer (although being a fan of the original cartoon, I kinda liked it).
Depending if it could come out more Matrix than Speed Racer, it is expected to be a star vehicle for someone – and potentially a money maker for them as well. Psssst…WB…over here…I’m available…