The rest of 2014 will be an interesting year for sci-fi fans, with ambitious films in the Wachowski’s Jupiter Ascending and Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar leading the way. Other sci-fi fare including Edge of Tomorrow and Transcendence could possibly make 2014 a memorable year.
This will be a make it or break it year for Lana and Andy Wachowski with their upcoming Jupiter Ascending. After re-defining the sci-fi genre in 1999 with The Matrix, the siblings have since disappointed critically with two Matrix sequels, Speed Racer, and Cloud Atlas. Granted, the latter was not so much as a terrible movie, but more of a very polarizing film that did not get the credit it deserved. Viewers and critics either thought it was a masterpiece or it was one of the worst films of the year. Nevertheless, over the 15 years since new ground was broken with The Matrix, Lana and Andy Wachowski have lost considerable praise as filmmakers.
Jupiter Ascending stars Mila Kunis as Jupiter Jones, a young Russian immigrant cleaning toilets for a living who finds out she has the DNA to be a leader beyond the stars, and alter the cosmos. The film also stars Channing Tatum as a hunter who saves her from an attack by the current evil queen of the universe, and becomes her protector. Packed with breathtaking visuals, Jupiter Ascending looks to put an interesting sci-fi twist to the classic Snow White story. The second trailer released yesterday can be seen below.
On top of of the Wachowski’s make it or break it Jupiter Ascending project is Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. Based on the theories of wormholes by Kip Thorne who serves as executive producer, Interstellar is about a group of explorers and scientists who travel through a wormhole to conquer the vast distances of space. The sci-fi space epic stars Matthew McConaughey along with Anne Hathaway, Casey Affleck, Jessica Chastain, Topher Grace, Wes Bentley, Michael Caine and John Lithgow. Interstellar opens at the end of this year, on Nov. 7, 2014.
Nolan has remained tight lipped about the project; however, at Cinemacon yesterday he revealed a few juicy details. McConaughey was cast because Nolan wanted an actor who would be able to make the audience experience the fantastic events through and with him. The actor’s performance in Mud in early 2013 convinced Nolan that he was the right man to star in Interstellar. McConaughey since won a Best Actor at the Oscars for his leading role in Dallas Buyers Club, one of several films along with HBO television’s True Detective, in which he has has proven he is truly one of the greatest actors alive today.
Nolan also mentioned such groundbreaking sci-fi films as 2001: A Space Odyssey and Star Wars as influences for him growing up, and for Interstellar. His intention in the film is to explore our position as human beings and where we dream to go, along with creating an experience for moviegoers that he had when watching sci-fi growing up during those golden years. Nolan’s next project is sounding like a sci-fi film that will be intelligent, groundbreaking, breathtaking, entertaining, and an unforgettable experience.
Another interesting sci-fi project to come out this year is Transcendence, the directorial debut by Walter Pfister, Christopher Nolan’s once regular cinematographer. The film, opening on April 25, stars Johnny Depp as a scientist who downloads his mind into an artificial intelligence granting him uncontrollable and unstoppable powers.
There is also Edge of Tomorrow, an adaptation of Japanese manga, All You Need is Kill, which sees Tom Cruise as a soldier in a war against aliens caught in a time loop and becoming more battle-hardened each time around. The Doug-Liman-directed sci-fi opens on May 30.
Four very ambitious sci-fi films being released throughout 2014 makes this a great year to be a fan of the genre. At the head of the pack is The Wachowski’s trying to repeat their Matrix glory with Jupiter Ascending, opening July 25, 2014, and Christopher Nolan making his mark yet again with Interstellar, launching November 7, 2014.
Commentary By Kollin Lore