It probably isn’t good news when a $150 million movie set to premiere in less than six weeks is abruptly yanked from the schedule and banished to February of next year, but that’s what just happened to “Jupiter Ascending,” the latest project from “Matrix” creators Lana and Andy Wachowski, The Artists Formerly Known As the Wachowski Brothers But Not Any More Because One Of Them Is a Sister Now.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the delay was due to the need for “more special effects work,” which is a bit hard to swallow, since special effects are all done by computer now. They must have been rendering things with the same slow computers Obama tried to blame the VA scandal on. February isn’t a likely destination for a planned summer tentpole picture, although the surprising blockbuster success of “The Lego Movie” is cited by the Reporter as reason for some optimism. There’s also speculation that the studio, Warner Brothers, is nervous after a rough beginning to the summer season, and you never know what you’re going to get when you uncork a Wachowski epic.
Which is precisely the reason I was rather looking forward to “Jupiter Ascending.” In a year of predictable sequels, prequels, and reboots, this movie and Chris Nolan’s “Interstellar” (which is actually more of a Christmas release, coming in November) were a couple of rare question marks. Sure, not all surprises are good – one way or the other, nobody can say they walked into “Cloud Atlas” expecting the movie they saw – but my reservoir of goodwill for the Wachowskis over “The Matrix” has not quite been exhausted yet. Nobody knew what they were going to get with that movie, either.
I don’t have quite the level of faith in the Wachowskis’ storytelling skills that I do with Christopher Nolan – for the time being, no dubious trailer can keep me from giving anything he does a shot – and the “Jupiter Ascending” trailers were just plain weird. But about half the time I watched them, I thought it might be a really good kind of weird, so I’m sorry to see it go.
By the way, here’s the trailer for “Interstellar.” I have it on good authority that Nolan is toying with us and hiding the good stuff – everything here is taken from very early in the film. I love that. I wish more trailers were cut that way.