The summer of 1999 was quite a time for genre fans. George Lucas had finally returned with Star Wars Episode One, which sadly left a lot of people very disappointed.
But there was some relief because two guys from Chicago, Andy and Larry Wachowski, stole his thunder with The Matrix. True, It didn’t have the impact of the original Star Wars in its time, but like the original Lucas space opera it was a fresh and mind blowing experience, and it seemed you could take the story in limitless directions.
Yet with their follow up films, the Matrix sequels and Speed Racer, you got the impression the Wachowskis were out of ideas, or like Steve Lisberger with Tron, they put all their great ideas into one movie, and couldn’t follow it up. (A friend of mine dubbed the second film, The Matrix Rebloated).
And like Tarantino soon after Pulp Fiction, you had the feeling that what was once fresh and exciting got dated very quickly. Seriously, if I see one more trailer with bullet time CGI, I swear I’m going to scream.
Fortunately, the Wachowskis are back with a new project, Jupiter Ascending. As with any big, potential franchise in Hollywood, everything’s top secret, yet we do know via Collider that Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis have been offered the lead roles, while Deadline says the film is supposed to start shooting later this year.
The Wachowskis also recently directed Cloud Atlas with Tom Tykwer (Run, Lola, Run), the adaptation of the acclaimed sci-fi novel by David Mitchell. Atlas stars Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Matrix and Lord of the Rings vet Hugo Weaving, Susan Sarandon, and Jim Broadbent, and according to the Hollywood Reporter, the Wachowskis and Tykwer shot segments of the film separately with two complete crews, and they’ll bring the multiple story-lines, six in all, together for the movie.
Clearly, however their next movies turn out, no one can say the Wachiowskis comeback plans aren’t ambitious.