“When people say they’re tired of seeing the same stories regurgitated over and over again, this is the answer,” says Channing Tatum, who stars in a planet-hopping sci-fi-romance-action opus by Andy and Lana Wachowski (The Matrix). He plays an alien bounty hunter sent to rescue a human janitor named Jupiter (Mila Kunis) who doesn’t know she’s a member of intergalactic royalty. “She’s a smart-ass, but she ultimately becomes a badass,” says Kunis of her character. “She’s like the Batman of girls.” For Tatum, the Wachowskis’ commitment to non-CG stunts was a big lure — and led to a few close calls. “There was one tense moment when Mila and I were hoisted about 70 feet up on wires, and the camera was moving on a crane straight toward us,” he says. “I had to just kick the camera to get us out of the way.”
1. Man on Wire
To let Channing Tatum’s and Mila Kunis’ characters career around a corner propelled by his gravity-redirecting boots, the actors were attached to a wire rig on a moving truck and then swung around the corner of a Chicago street.
2. Car Swap
The red car totaled by Tatum’s energized boots was digitally added in postproduction, since it would have been a hazard for the swinging actors.
3. Roller Derby
On set, Tatum wore roller skates to glide across the ground. They were digitally replaced later with energy beams. “Warmer colors looked too much like a jet engine,” says F/X supervisor Dan Glass. “Blue has that sci-fi feel.”
4. Hanging in There
Kunis was only loosely connected to Tatum so she could pull away a bit for a realistic effect. Kunis says many scenes involved “hanging on to Channing and being like, ‘Oh my God, I think I’m going to die!'”
5. Fur Factor
Tatum’s alien bounty hunter, Caine, is a hybrid between a human and a wolfen creature. His hair was painted “to make it more furlike,” says Tatum, who wore prosthetic fangs and a fake beard. “I can’t grow that much of a beard.”