If there’s one thing you can say about Lana and Andy Wachowski, it’s that they’re innovators; explorers of ideas and places, new experiences (for them, for television), and pushing limits. Since our entertainment world is so full of reboots and remakes or do-overs, they stand out as damned refreshing writers and directors. Sometimes we have no freaking idea where they’re going (Jupiter Ascending), but at least we know it won’t be the same old trip.
And so it goes with (what we hope will be) their über-cool Netflix science fiction series, Sense8. Described as an “exploration of the human condition,” the series follows eight telepathically connected people who are spread out across the world (Iceland, Africa, Mexico…), communicating via their newfound psychic link-up, which appears permanent after a shared vision. Speaking with io9, the Wachowskis elaborated on their series and some of its strange goings-on:
What Netflix had to promise them:
Lana: “We told Netflix we were like, ‘We’re only interested in doing this. It’s going to be so hard, it’s not very much money. We’re only interested in it if we can do anything. And I mean anything. Like crazy psychic orgies with all sorts of different bodies.’ And they were like, ‘Yeah sure, cool great.’”
Making good on that “anything goes” clause:
Andy: “We have live births.”
Lana: “Live births even.”
Andy: “Babies coming out of vaginas.”
io9: “What? No.”
Andy: “Yes. Tune in. In May, you’ll see.”
On the shooting locations, and being aliens in strange lands:
Andy: “Yeah. We shot in San Francisco, Chicago, Mexico City, Reykjavík, London, Berlin, Nairobi, Seoul, Mumbai…
Going from the Best Western Hotel in Nairobi to the Park Hyatt in Seoul was…”
Lana: “Coming from Reykjavík, like the whitest city in the world 250,00 white people who are practically related. And then going to Nairobi.”
Andy: “Where we’re basically aliens landing there walking…”
Lana: “With my pink hair and I’m just freaking out.”
Andy: “So the culture shock was an amazing thing to experience. But it was also amazing to capture that. We think it’s going to make the show very special There’s not anything like it on TV. There’s not really anything like it in the movies as well. We’re super excited about that.”
The huge differences between working on film and this type of television series:
Andy: “Well, it’s really hard work, the TV gig, we’re finding. The density of your work day it’s manifold from what we’re used to. Right now we’re in the editing process. We finished the first four episodes and we’re cutting them basically an episode a week. By the end of two weeks that’s two hours. That’s basically a feature film. And basically on a feature film you get ten weeks. That’s DGA minimum.
We shot the show all over the world…And in doing so, we ended up having 100,000 miles of flight time for all of last year. That’s four times around the globe.”
Sense8 stars Brian J. Smith, Tuppence Middleton, Aml Ameen, Miguel Ángel Silvestre, Bae Doona, Jamie Clayton, Tena Desae and Max Riemelt as the eight connected strangers, and Naveen Andrews, Daryl Hannah, Freema Agyeman, Alfonso Herrera and Eréndira Ibarra in recurring roles. As yet, we don’t know who is playing the killer called “Mr. Whispers,” who seeks to terminate the psychics. The Wachowskis have already planned for five to six seasons, the first of which airs on Netflix this May.