EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has offered the leads in the Lana and Andy Wachowki-directed Jupiter Ascending to Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis. Plot is being kept under tight wraps, but for the Wachowkis, the film is their first major science fiction action franchise play since The Matrix. Like that trilogy, Jupiter Ascending is an original creation by the duo, and it’s on track to start production later this year. It comes at a time when Tatum is becoming a formidable leading man, particularly with his back-to-back box office successes The Vow and 21 Jump Street. Kunis, meanwhile, is coming off Black Swan and Friends With Benefits and stars in the Seth MacFarlane-directed comedy Ted and Sam Raimi-directed Oz: The Great And Powerful.
The Wachowskis just finished Cloud Atlas. They had circulated to financiers a script last spring for a hard-R drama they wanted to direct about a gay relationship between a U.S. soldier and an Iraqi, but had trouble setting it up. Before Cloud Atlas, the siblings hadn’t directed a film since the 2008 misfire Speed Racer. Still, nobody forgets about their last original creation, the groundbreaking Maxtix trilogy, and the $1.6 billion worldwide gross turned in by the three films. Will Jupiter Ascending do for Tatum what The Matrix did for Keanu Reeves? Stay tuned. He’s repped by UTA and Management 360, Kunis by CAA and Curtis Talent Management.