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Cloud Atlas is one of the most interesting projects shooting this fall, as Tom Tykwer and Andy and Lana Wachowski have co-written and are co-directing an adaptation of David Mitchell‘s genre- and centuries-spanning novel.

Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Ben Whishaw, Susan Sarandon, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Grant and Bae Doona are all in the cast, and will all play multiple roles. (Some will play different genders and races, too.) Tykwer and the Wachowskis will each direct separate film units, presumably with each unit tackling three of the novel’s six interconnected stories. But questions of exactly who plays who, and which stories each unit will film, have been unanswered so far.

The first set photos have arrived, and they start to answer those questions. The pics confirm that one of Halle Berry’s roles is Luisa Rey, a journalist who runs into trouble when she investigates goings-on at a nuclear power plant. And it seems that her story is one that Tykwer is directing.

These pics, from JustJared, are pretty clearly from a story set in the ’70s, which locks this as Half-Lives: The First Luisa Rey Mystery. Given that Halle Berry is one of two actresses in the cast of appropriate age to play Luisa Rey, this really isn’t a surprise, but it’s a good confirmation.

And the fact that Tom Tykwer is seen in these pics seems to lock him as the director of this segment. Given that this is the most overt action/thriller segment of the story, that’s also not much of a surprise, but this one could have gone either way as far as which unit would shoot it.

The presence of Hugo Weaving in these pics suggests that he could be playing either Joe Napier, the power plant security chief, or contract killer Bill Smoke. I’m betting on the latter. (And neither role would be a surprise, either; I surmised that Weaving would play one of the two when doing a cast breakdown earlier this summer.) I can’t ID the guy with the gun in the first image, though.

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This story is set in California but the shoot is taking place in Scotland. Cloud Atlas should be released next fall, but we don’t yet have a date for the Warner Bros. release.

A reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded journalist in Governor Reagan’s California; a vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified “dinery server” on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific Islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilisation — the narrators of Cloud Atlas hear each other’s echoes down the corridor of history, and their destinies are changed in ways great and small.

[via Coming Soon]

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