For Lana Wachowski, Monday night’s premiere of “Jupiter Ascending” at the TCL Chinese was fulfilling in that she and sibling Andy Wachowski, co-writer/director of the film, created an original space opera world occupied by alien royalty.
“I really have a hard time believing that this is finally happening here at the Chinese,” Lana confessed, of the Sci-Fi film which was initially intended to be a July release.
Though the long-awaited project involves plenty of space travel, much of the action in “Jupiter Ascending” occurs in Chicago — birthplace to the Wachowskis.
Making particular use of the early-morning light, the siblings employed Chicago as a backdrop for an elaborate five-minute chase sequence at dawn, requiring part of the crew to get up at 3 a.m. for several months.
“It’s romantic, which is part of the scene’s dynamic,” Lana recalled during the after-party at Boulevard3 in Hollywood. “When I told our cinematographer John Toll that I wanted to shoot (at that time) every day, I could see the blood drain out of his face.”
To Mila Kunis — whose character Jupiter Jones cleans houses before a genetically engineered hunter (Channing Tatum) enlists her to travel to his planet to stop a tyrant and realize her great destiny — “Jupiter” is much more accessible than the Wachowskis’ complex world of “The Matrix.”
She also recalled that 17-hour days and working on wires were common during last year’s shoot.
But for her, the best part of the experience was the team involved. “I really geeked out over the fact that there I was, working for the Wachowskis,” she said, and Tatum allowed that he’d had a similar fanboy response.
“Jupiter Ascending,” from Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures, is in theaters Feb. 6.
(Pictured: Mila Kunis, David Ajala, Lana Wachowski, Kick Gurry, Sean Bean and Channing Tatum at the “Jupiter Ascending” premiere.)