The “Luckiest Girl Alive” actress reflected on the infamous sci-fi drama helmed by “The Matrix” creators the Wachowskis in 2015. Kunis starred as a Russian maid whose DNA makes her the destined queen of the universe; Channing Tatum played her wolf-man protector, with Eddie Redmayne as the intergalactic villain in the futuristic dystopia. “Jupiter Ascending” was slaughtered by critics upon release, with some even speculating the Wachowskis’ career could be done.
“When did we know [the movie would flop]? Before we started production, because our production got slashed in half,” Kunis told Josh Horowitz on the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast. “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.”
“Jupiter Ascending” was produced on a budget over $170 million, with an estimated loss of more than $100 million at the box office. At the time of the film’s release, lead star Kunis opted to eat a cow tongue rather than reveal why she signed on for the film, or even explain its plot, while on the “Late Late Show with James Corden.”
Co-star Tatum told Variety earlier this year that “Jupiter Ascending” was a “nightmare” from the beginning.
“I took four movies back-to-back without any time off. I wasn’t as good as I wanted to be in those last two movies because I didn’t have the energy,” Tatum admitted. “‘Jupiter Ascending’ was a nightmare from the jump. It was a sideways movie. All of us were there for seven months, busting our hump. It was just tough.”
Redmayne similarly looked back on his career in a GQ video and called his “Jupiter Ascending” role “pretty bad,” understandably winning a Razzie Award for worst actor.
“I won a prize for it — for the worst performance of the year,” the Oscar winner said. “So yeah, it was pretty bad performance by all accounts. Those people that loathe what I do, ‘Jupiter Ascending’ tends to be their favorite of my performances. In retrospect, it may have been too much. But I love the Wachowskis. I’ve never felt so free on set.”