For many involved, from the Wachowskis to cast members Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis and Eddie Redmayne, “Jupiter Ascending” ranks as one of their biggest flops. The 2015 science-fiction epic was ridiculed by film critics and didn’t make it past the $50 million mark at the U.S. box office, despite a budget north of $150 million. It turns out that budget was only half of what the Wachowskis originally proposed.
During a recent interview on the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast, Kunis revealed that the “Jupiter Ascending” budget was “slashed in half” before principal photography started. When the budget got cut, the actor knew the movie would be a massive flop.
“When did we know [the movie would flop]? Before we started production, because our production got slashed in half,” Kunis said. “And so the original budget was twice as much, and you can do a lot more with a lot more money, and oftentimes those types of scripts have a very good storyline, but extraordinary other things. Right before pre-production, for a multitude of reasons with studios and other things, the budget got cut, and the movie was different.”
Kunis added, “I wish that Channing was here because we have some good stories.”
Tatum said in a Variety cover story earlier this year that making “Jupiter Ascending” was a “nightmare from the jump,” adding, “It was a sideways movie. All of us were there for seven months, busting our hump. It was just tough.”
Redmayne admitted to GQ magazine in 2018 that he gave a flat-out bad performance in the movie, where he starred as a villainous emperor. “My character had his larynx ripped out by this wolf man, and so I made the slightly bold choice — which I thought was right,” Redmayne said. “I won a prize for it for the worst performance of the year. So, yeah, it was a pretty bad performance on my account.”