In my previous job at the Chicago Sun-Times, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing the lovely Daryl Hannah as she filmed the Wachowski’s new Netflix series, Sense8, in Chicago. Leading up to the interview, I channeled all of my Type-A tendencies into finding out everything I could about the show. But those enigmatic Wachowskis were keeping the Sense8 lid on tight, doing minimal press and disappearing into a glittering puff of smoke whenever I got within 20 feet of them.
Here’s all I could scrounge up regarding Sense8 back in the olden days of December 2014 (yes, I am about to quote myself): “The much-anticipated Sense8, a Netflix series created by the Wachowski siblings (The Matrix trilogy, Cloud Atlas) [is] set to premiere in 2015. Little information is available about the show; according to Deadline, the sci-fi drama—co-starring Naveen Andrews (Lost), Aml Ameen (The Maze Runner) and Tuppence Middleton (Jupiter Ascending), among others—‘follows eight characters around the world who, in the aftermath of a tragic death, find themselves linked to each other mentally and emotionally.’ ”
And here’s all Hannah would offer me by way of describing her character, Angel: “She has to [make] sacrifices for what she wants to protect.” Oh. In other words, nobody had any fucking idea what this show was about—maybe not even Daryl Hannah.
In an interview with Buzzfeed published today, co-writer Joe Straczynski describes the show as, “a global story told on a planetary scale about human transcendence and what it ultimately means to be human in a contemporary society.” Oh! But it’s “far more complex than that,” notes valiant writer Emily Orley, who does her best to parse the series’ first episode, characterized by Straczynski as “a little bit confusing.”
Today, Sense8’s first trailer dropped, and even after watching it six times, I still feel like I’m in the dark—maybe, like, in the matrix? Yeah, that’s a good analogy. Anyway, see for yourself:
The trail of the tape
Directors: The Wachowskis, Dan Glass, James McTeigue, Tom Tykwer
Screenwriters: The Wachowskis, Joe Straczynski
Cast: Daryl Hannah, Jamie Clayton, Max Riemelt, Ami Ameen, Naveen Andrews, Doona Bae, Tina Desai, a shit-ton of other people
Release date: June 5, exclusively on Netflix
The entire trailer in one line of dialogue: “Few know what it means to be reborn a sensate.” “A what?”
The entire trailer in one screengrab:
Let’s recap: Eight strangers. Eight cities. One connection. A lot of danger. Any questions? K, great.
Mindfuckery and Jupiter Ascending aside, I’m going to be watching the shit out of this. Straczynski tells Buzzfeed that the show explores notions of politics, sexuality, and gender identity, which are, like, my top three favorite notions. And the Wachowskis have a long history of cramming way too much into a two-hour movie, so a 12-hour movie (okay, a “Netflix series”) seems like the ideal vehicle for these two crazy kids.