Wachowskis’ original sci-fi epic UK bound, so we hear

IF THERE’S ONE THING directors Andy and Lana Wachowski  are expert at it’s keeping a tight lid on news about their projects, never publicly speaking about them and thus allowing the rest of us to wallow in rumors and speculation. 

Such is the situation with their upcoming Warner Bros. epic, “Jupiter Ascending,” the first time the siblings have written together and their first original sci-fi movie.

As the Reel reported last March, it was widely circulated that the Wachowskis wanted to produce their gazillion dollar, two-years-in the-works feature in Chicago, where Andy has a nice home in Old Irving Park. (Lana lives in L.A.)

Warner Bros., however, decided to make “Jupiter” in the U.K. for two inarguable reasons.  One, the project needed massive stages, such as the “Harry Potter” facilities and, two, the Brits’ incentives trumped those offered in Illinois. 

The cost differential between London and Chicago was reportedly $21 million, according to sources.  Warner Bros. asked the city to fill that gap but, needless say, that didn’t happen, given the city’s budget deficits.  

Cinespace did offer to give the production free space, but that deal fell apart, a source relates.  For one thing, some parts of the film need  to be shot in a 360-degree facility, like the clear span space available in an armory.

So the U.K. economy will benefit from those two years of film revenue and the creation of hundreds if not thousands of jobs.  What’s left for Chicago is anywhere from a few days to a few weeks of “Jupiter” shooting preproduction plates and practical locations sometime in September. 

Visual effects work is expected to be rendered at Kinowerks, the Wachowskis super-secret Ravenswood studios.  But that’s not for sure, either.

If “Jupiter Ascending” would have been made entirely here (the first of the Wachowskis’ 22 movies to do so) local economic impact, job creation and prestige would have been so great that surely the city would’ve erected a statue of the siblings in their native Beverly neighborhood in gratitude.

To learn what’s being revealed about the “Jupiter Ascending” plot, click here.

A SPECIAL TREAT FOR WIF MEMBERS and guests Wednesday, July 11, when Lisa Wiegand, DP on “Chicago Fire” speaks about her career. A Detroit native and one of a handful (if that many) women in the camera union, she has shot 22 TV titles, according to IMBD, a variety of TV series including cinematographer on Detroit 1-8-7, American Idol, 24, and cinematographer on 43 entertainment projects.

The evening with Wiegand will be held at Daufenbach Camera, 320 N. Damen, from 6-8 p.m.  Members free, guests $10.

THE COLONIE HOSTS one of its quarterly Gallery parties Thursday, July 12 at its River North post house, honoring award-winning advertising and fine art photographer Christopher Jacobs.

His exhibit is an array of new and legendary musicians, such as Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Buddy Guy, Devo, Pinetop Perkins, Michel LeGrand, Dizzy Gillespie and many others.

Those wishing to attend should RSVP to Amanda Corbett, client relations at The Colonie.

GENEROUS OPTIMUS is providing the $500 cash prize for the winner of the 6th Chicago Comedy TV Pilot Competition, that showcases sitcoms based on original ideas by Chicagoans and helps enhance the city’s international comedy reputation.  The laughs begin at 7 p.m., Friday, July 20 at the Cultural Center. Tickets are only $10. 

FILMWORKERS CLUB has put into service FotoKem’s nextLAB®, a powerful end-to-end software solution for file-based film and television productions, being used on certain projects to help manage input from camera dailies. It is also available as a mobile unit for on-set and near location support services.

So much going on! Send us news of what’s happening in your world. Email to Ruth@reelchicago.wpengine.com.