You know, I'm still pulling for Jupiter Ascending, the latest effort from the Wachowski's. It's big and bright and silly and... kind of a mess but an entertaining one. And I'm hoping it picks up some decent dollars worldwide in the weeks to come.
That said, I was also totally behind the siblings' previous film Cloud Atlas. The ambitious adaptation, mounted with fellow writer/director Tom Tykver was vast, emotional, stunning to look at and possessed of the kind of depth we rarely see in sci-fi projects costing over $100 million.
The film actually earned over $130 million at the box office, which is far from a disaster, but is still considered a flop - mostly by people who decided it was a hopelessly befuddled mess. But for those, like me, who wallowed happily in its crenellations and creativity, we could have seen something even more spectacular.
Netflix Chief Content Office Ted Sarandos was speaking to Deadline recently about Sense8, which is the Wachowski's new project - a 10 episode mini series set to come to the streaming service in summer 2015. It's about what happens when 8 strangers are suddenly connected telepathically around the world and explores gender, culture and all sorts of good stuff. Oh and its co-written by Babylon 5'sJ. Michael Straczynski.
That sounds pretty fantastic on its own, but Sarandos - while talking about how exciting the Wachowskis are - mentioned offhand a little something about Cloud Atlas: "Their film reviews have been brutal, and everything after 'The Matrix' didn’t go well, but if you look at the earlier cuts of their films before they had to jam them down to 120 minutes, it’s amazing. There’s a four-hour cut of 'Cloud Atlas' that will blow you away.”
Wait, go back. Someone has seen the 4 hour cut of Cloud Atlas!? At 172 minutes, I thought the pacing and editing of the theatrical cut was just about perfect, but it certainly leaves out vast swathes of David Mitchell's original book. The idea of seeing more than an hour of additional footage is incredible exciting.
Unfortunately Sarandos doesn't mention that cut again and its likely this version has unfinished effects and is locked up in a vault at Warner Bros. Maybe, after a great first season of Sense8, Netflix can pursue those rights and put the Wachowskis to work on their definitive edition of one of the most astounding sci-fi films of the last decade?
Jupiter Ascending is in cinemas now, and its a lot of fun.
Sense8 comes exclusively to Netflix before June 2015.