Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski are getting ready to turn David Mitchell‘s strange multi-narrative novel Cloud Atlas into a big-budget film. It will be shot entirely in and around Berlin, and is planned as the most expensive film ever to be financed in Germany, at about $100m.

The stellar cast includes Tom Hanks, Hugo Weaving, Ben Whishaw, Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon and Jim Broadbent, each of whom will play multiple roles — as many as six each. We have pretty good ideas about some of the roles each actor will play, but have wondered quite a bit about how the script deals with the fact that the novel features six stories that take place in different time periods. Now David Mitchell offers some very slight clarification — or, for those who’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the adaptation, possibly some confirmation of the planned strategy. Read More »

The most striking revelation in some recent casting announcements about Cloud Atlas, which Tom Tykwer and the Wachowskis are adapting from the novel by David Mitchell, was that all the major actors would be playing multiple roles. That wasn’t the biggest surprise, as the primary characteristic of the novel is that it is a nested set of six stories, each of which relates to the others in ways that are occasionally minor and (once or twice) quite significant. Having actors play multiple characters would emphasize the relationship between the stories and, given that the tales cross gulfs of time, keep the primary cast from spiraling up into the dozens.

But I hadn’t gone so far as to assume that each actor would have a role in each of the six stories. Now it seems that at least one will, as Hugo Weaving says he’s got six roles in the movie. Read More »

There’s some major movement on Cloud Atlas, the adaptation of David Mitchell‘s ambitious novel that Tom Tykwer and Andy and Lana Wachowski are writing and planning to direct together. The project has been crawling forward for some time, and was recently announced as a definite ‘go’ with Tom Hanks in one of the key roles. Quite a few other people have been discussed as possible cast members, and the news today confirms Halle Berry and Hugo Weaving and adds Ben Whishaw. Much more info, including a long casting/character breakdown, is after the break. Read More »

So we know for certain now: after being relatively dormant since Speed Racer, the next film from the Wachowskis will be an adaptation of the David Mitchell novel Cloud Atlas. They’re co-writing and co-directing with Tom Tykwer, more or less as we’ve reported in the past, and Tom Hanks is officially attached to star. Warner Bros. will handle the film in the US and Focus Features International will have rights elsewhere. The idea is to pre-sell other rights at Cannes and then get down to the business of shooting the film in September. More details are after the break, if you haven’t been following along while the film was in the rumor stage. Read More »

Last time we heard about the adaptation of David Mitchell‘s novel Cloud Atlas, the Wachowskis were reportedly set to shoot the film in summer of this year. That was slightly confusing, as Tom Tykwer was hired to write many months ago, and was seemingly set to direct as well, with the Wachowskis producing. The idea that the siblings would step in to direct the film themselves seemed odd.

But it’s not quite as odd as this: according to a new interview with Natalie Portman, all three filmmakers will in fact direct Cloud Atlas when (or if) cameras roll later this year. Read More »

Over the past year, there has been a low murmur of news about an adaptation of the David Mitchell novel Cloud Atlas. Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run, The International) has been writing, possibly with the intent to direct, and the Wachowski siblings have been linked as producers. Offers reportedly went out to Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, James McAvoy, Ian McKellen and Natalie Portman to play major roles.

Now Halle Berry says the film is shooting next summer, but does her statement clarify or confuse the issue about who is actually making the film? Read More »


Last year we heard that Tom Tykwer was working to adapt David Mitchell‘s massive post-modern novel Cloud Atlas for producers the Wachowskis. At the same time we heard that Natalie Portman had been linked to the adaptation, but there was no official confirmation and things have been pretty solid on the Cloud Atlas front since then. (In part because Tykwer was directing another film, Drei, which wrapped at the end of November.)

Now we’re hearing that the Natalie Portman link is legit, and that offers have gone out to quite an impressive roster of additional actors. Read More »

Arianna Huffington

Are the Wachowski Brothers shooting a top secret movie right now? This is the question I received in my email from /Film reader Seann A, who included a link to Arianna Huffington‘s twitter account. Many of you will recognize Huffington as a syndicated columnist and co-founder of the liberal news website The Huffington Post.

Arianna sent out a bunch of interesting tweets today claiming to be shooting a part in a Wachowskis Brothers film, a movie about the Iraq War, from the perspective of the future. I would normally just write this off as not legit, but Huffington has posted photos from the set, one of which features Wachowski brother turned sister Lana Wachowski. Is it possible that the Wachowski Brothers have actually sneaked their next film into production without anyone noticing? Or is this just part of a short film, commercial, or test footage for a potential future project?

Anyone have any ideas or know anything more solid? We’ll keep you updated.


  • Erik Davis (of cinematical fame) e-mailed me in response asking if it could be Cloud Atlas, the Wachowski Brothers-produced Tom Tykwer-directed adaptation of the postmodern novel by David Mitchell . But as far as I’ve heard, that film is still in the development stages and Tykwer just wrapped last week on a new feature called Drei (Three), so it is unlikely that he is back behind the camera so soon. Or maybe Tykwer is no longer involved?
  • Devin from Chud claims the Wachowskis are not yet in production, but are spending a couple says shooting “test footage” for theirĀ  next project.

More photos after the jump.

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FirstShowing has word that The International director Tom Tykwer is adapting the David Mitchell novel titled Cloud Atlas for The Wachowski Brothers. Written in 2004, the novel went on to win the British Book Awards Literary Fiction Award and the Richard & Judy Book of the Year award.

The book is comprised of six seperate but loosely connected stories that take us from the remote South Pacific in the nineteenth century to the far future after a nuclear apocalypse. Each tale is told from the point of view from the the main character in the next. It’s unclear if Tykwer is focusing on one, a couple or all of the stories. I cant imagine that a film adaptation would feature all six stories as the narrative would become too episodic. And each story is a vastly different genre than the next, spanning post-apocalyptic sci-fi to modern comedy. The author has said that the book’s theme is predacity — individuals prey on individuals, groups on groups, nations on nations.

Funny thing, I received an email tip a few months ago that claimed that Natalie Portman was somehow involved in a big screen adaptation of Cloud Atlas, but I wrote it off as unsubstantiated false info. But now that Alex has uncovered that Tykwer is adapting the novel for The Wachowskis, I’ve been doing some research and there seems to be a few connections.

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