Are the Wachowsksi siblings over or in trouble? Does the bumping of their next sci-fi blockbuster, “Jupiter Ascending” – which was recently delayed from a prime summer slot, to a less admired February release – mean they’re headed for another flop?
That would mean three in a row, right? “Speed Racer” certainly wasn’t a hit, “Cloud Atlas” didn’t exactly light up the box-office and now “Jupiter Ascending” and its release date shift doesn’t bode well. This is a conversation (semi-argument) that Playlister Kevin Jagernauth and I are constantly having: how many flops are the siblings going to be allowed before someone puts the kibosh on their big expensive spectacles. Kevin’s take is here (he contends they may be in trouble or at least raises the possibility). I’m more of the mind that Hollywood isn’t risk averse. The mentality is always go big or go home and you can’t make a billion if you don’t spend $200 million. Ergo: “hey, maybe there’s another ‘Matrix’ in one of these crazy ideas!” (aka a $1.6 billion dollar franchise). And so I don’t see anyone not giving them money for a big project any time soon (though it has already happened to some degree: Warner Bros. didn’t want to foot the bill for “Cloud Atlas” so they only distributed it).
Thus yes, they have another project in the works and casting has been unveiled. Granted, it’s not a movie, and maybe because this kind of sprawling narrative has moved into the domain of television where filmmakers can take a grand storytelling idea and really expand it to its fullest potential (and the creators clearly saw the financial and creative landscape changing anyhow).
So, in case you’ve forgotten, the show is called “Sense8,” it’s 10 episodes that will appear on Netflix and it and was created and conceived by the Wachowskis and J. Michael Straczynski— a versatile writer who has worked in comics, TV, radio and film and has had a hand in (or totally conceived of) projects like "Babylon 5," Clint Eastwood's "Changeling," "World War Z,” and "Thor" to name a few.
A big diverse international cast is taking shape “Lost” alum Naveen Andrews, Daryl Hannah and “Stargate Universe” actor Brian J. Smith have joined the cast along with up and coming British actress Tuppence Middleton (who also has a role in “Jupiter Ascending”), Freema Agyeman (“Dr.Who”), Doona Bae ("Cloud Atlas"), Aml Ameen (“The Maze Runner,” “Lee Daniels’ The Butler”), Max Riemelt, Alfonso Herrera, Tena Desae, Miguel Silvestri, Terrence Mann, and Jamie Clayton.
Netflix describes it as “a gripping global tale of minds linked and souls hunted.” But further plot details have emerged. “Sense8” is about eight individuals scattered across the globe who find themselves inexplicably linked after a tragic event. Suddenly, their minds are linked, allowing them to communicate directly with one another, while also sharing their deepest and darkest secrets to the entire group.