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New Bonds and Old Alliances
Jupiter: "I've made enough mistakes to know this doesn't feel like another one."

Caine: "How can Your Majesty be sure if, as you said, your compass is broken?"

Recounting the moment when Caine and Jupiter meet, Kunis says, "Jupiter is in a very precarious situation and when Caine drops out of the sky and takes her up in his arms it's very much a chemical attraction between the two of them, regardless of everything else that's going on. It's natural and instantaneous."

"We were very lucky in our casting," states Hill. "Mila and Channing were our first choices for the roles of Jupiter and Caine and when they fell into place so quickly our momentum lifted and we were off. They're both very strong characters and their on-screen chemistry is remarkably compelling."

The trust and connection that develops between Caine and Jupiter and deepens throughout the ensuing action could be described as a simple love story on a large scale. These are two individuals who never expected to find love at all, and certainly not under these extreme circumstances. Says Tatum, "Caine probably just wrote himself off long ago as never being able to find love or even being deserving of it, even though it's all he's ever wanted. And Jupiter feels that she's made every possible bad decision in the book when it comes to men so maybe it's not worth trying again."

Like many true heroines, Jupiter's courage is forged from harsh and humble beginnings. Her father, an astrophysicist, was killed in Saint Petersburg in a senseless crime before her birth, and Jupiter entered the world at sea, between nations, as her mother and sister fled to America for a better life. But that life was far from fairytale. Cleaning houses by day and sharing cramped quarters with her extended family at night, Jupiter's reality is back-breaking and numbingly monotonous.

"Jupiter works with her mom and aunt and she really has no life," says Kunis. "There's no joy or fun; it's just a struggle. She's all but given up on her dreams and she thinks, 'Well, this is it, this is my life and it's never going to get any better.'"

But beneath her casual cynicism Jupiter has a tender heart and, like her father, a genuine curiosity about the universe and her place in it. She secretly wishes-though never really expects-that she could see the world as he did, as a place of beauty, wonder and possibility.

Unlucky, too, in love, Jupiter's romantic history is marred by heartbreak and disappointment. So much so that she believes she has a broken compass, causing her to make one bad choice after another. But is her compass broken or it just leading her to Caine? In Caine, she finds someone she is forced to trust and, in return, he is forced to trust her, a situation that does not come easily to either of them, and when she falls in love with him it's the biggest leap of faith she has ever made.

The experience is similar for him. In Caine's society, human genes are routinely engineered and often combined with genes from the animal kingdom for their advantageous traits and abilities: heightened senses such as sight, scent or hearing, and agility or strength. Caine, with his infusion of wolf DNA, was bred to be a Legionnaire or "skyjacker," a fearless soldier with incomparable hunting, tracking and fighting skills. Unfortunately, the person who designed Caine miscalculated, adding to these attributes a streak of rebellion and unpredictability. This eventually manifested into such an intense hatred and distrust toward anyone of royal blood that it takes every ounce of control for Caine not to immediately go for their throats. Consequently, he has learned to keep to himself.

Says Lana, "When we first started talking about Jupiter, we thought a lot about Dorothy from Oz. I love that she had Toto as her protector. Jupiter needs a protector. Also, I was reading a book about wolves and it explains that wolves hunt in packs, and that the wolves that get exiled from that pack almost always die. To survive, they must become these super hunters.

"For Caine," she adds, "he's hunting for that thing he never had, a pack of his own, that sense of belonging you feel when you love and are loved back. For Jupiter, Caine's love is the key to her overcoming her distrust of the world and herself, which gives her courage to stand and fight for what's important."

Ultimately, she says, "They fulfill something in each other."

When Caine is dispatched by Titus Abrasax to find and deliver Jupiter before she is swept up by one of his scheming siblings, the former Legionnaire doesn't know who she is or why she merits such attention. Later, when he learns the truth, he is perplexed. Jupiter is a royal, yet she doesn't arouse in him the aversion he harbors toward her class; instead, she brings out the protective side of his lupine nature, the instinct toward loyalty and connection.

"Caine has an issue with royals, and he's been told all his life that it's his genetic disposition," Tatum acknowledges. "But then Jupiter is an anomaly. He's simultaneously drawn to her and thrown by her because he can't understand why he feels this way. I think Caine senses an innate goodness in her, and it's a quality he hasn't had much experience with so Jupiter is a bit of an interesting enigma."

Previously, the only person with whom Caine ever built such a bond was his friend and fellow splice, Legion commander Stinger Apini. And that didn't turn out well.

Sean Bean, who stars as the former officer, says, "Stinger and Caine have a rich, long history. Both brave, strong guys, they fought together and developed a mutual respect. Stinger was a mentor and father figure to Caine, and saw him as something of a son, a younger man who reminded him of what he once was-not only in his strength but in his headstrong nature-and the best soldier he ever went into battle with. They had a good relationship."

That relationship was tested when Caine attacked a royal and Stinger stood up for him. Consequently, the two elite skyjackers were court-martialed. Caine was locked up, while Stinger's allegiance earned him a prison of another kind. Demoted to Marshal for the Aegis, an intergalactic police force, he lives in exile on Earth, manning a remote outpost on a Midwestern farm surrounded by corn fields and colonies of bees.

Cerebral and methodical, Stinger's human genes are crossed with that of a highly evolved bee species, affording Stinger, among other things, the insects' finely tuned awareness of atmospheric change.

"This is the life he's been forced into but he seems to be making the best of it," says Bean. "He doesn't expect things to change until Caine turns up and creates all sorts of problems and interesting possibilities again."

Any reunion between these two would have to be volatile, as bad memories will inevitably be raked up, but even more so now that Caine must come to Stinger for help. He can't predict how his old comrade will feel about seeing him again, or where his loyalties may lie, but it's a chance he has to take because he and Jupiter have nowhere else to turn. The Aegis, finally aware of Jupiter's existence, have sent a cruiser and official envoy for her, but Balem Abrasax has already ordered a transportation blockade and, simultaneously, launched a squadron of assassins who will surely reach her first.

As Stinger predicts, they're not going to get off this planet without a fight.

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