From the very beginning, the Andy and Lana Wachowski & Tom Tykwer adaptation of the David Mitchell novel Cloud Atlas has sounded pretty crazy. There’s the simple fact that the book is built out of six stories, each of which follows a different set of characters and is based on a different genre of storytelling. (You’ll find a ’70s thriller, a post-apocalyptic story of rebuilding civilization, a parable about corporate-controlled society, and more.) Some of the characters are releated to others in different stories, and there’s the idea that one soul connects all the tales. That’s just the book!

The film features a massive cast, including Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Ben Whishaw, Susan Sarandon, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Grant and Bae Doona. We know that many cast members are playing multiple characters in different stories, sometimes changing race and gender. And the film is being shot in two parallel halves, with Tom Tykwer directing three stories and the Wachowskis directing three. This movie might be a wreck, but if so it will still be the most fascinating wreck of 2012. And if it is good it might be remarkable.

In a new piece that focuses on the unconventional funding model for the movie, we get a bit more info about who’s directing what, and what characters at least one of the actors is playing. Read More »

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The Wire‘s Michael K. Williams (who, like John Goodman, just guest-appeared on Community) was in the running for the title role in Quentin Tarantino‘s Django Unchained, and though he lost the part to Jamie Foxx, he may still end up in the film, in a part written just for him.

Hopefully another new job won’t get in the way; Williams will now also be a producer and actor in Life Garland‘s indie thriller The Suspect, written by Stuart Connelly. Here’s how the writer describes the film: “Two African American social scientists pose as bank robbers in an effort to understand the racial dynamics of small-town law enforcement. However, their experiment takes an unplanned, deadly turn.” That’s a great premise that could be the beginning of a compelling film. We’ll definitely follow the development. Shadow and Act reveals that Isaiah Washington is also set for the film.

After the break, David Duchovny rides a sub, and The Last Stand and Cloud Atlas get new actors. Read More »

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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. Read More »

My interest in the Tom Tykwer and Andy and Lana Wachowski adaptation of David Mitchell‘s novel Cloud Atlas just grew even more. We’ve reported on the film a fair few times, and it continues to sound wild. The book is an odd beast, with six stories, each presented in halves and nested within one another, that cover hundreds of years, dozens of characters and quite a few genres from nautical adventure to post-apocalyptic societal reboot.

Then there’s the fact that Tykwer and the Wacowskis are directing the film together, but with parallel film units. And the topline cast, which includes Tom Hanks, Hugo Weaving, Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon, Jim Broadbent and Bae Doona, is all set to play multiple roles. Now actor Ben Whishaw says that the actors will swap gender and race, too. (For Hanks, it’ll be Bosom Buddies 2.0.) How can you not be excited for this movie? Read More »

Jim Sturgess Joins the Cast of ‘Cloud Atlas’

The latest addition to Cloud Atlas is Jim Sturgess, who is currently muddling through the film One Day opposite Anne Hathaway. The film is based on a David Mitchell novel, which is divided into six centuries-spanning tales that embody various genres from nautical adventure to sci-fi and post-apocalyptic rebirth, is quite a piece of work, tying grand stylistic playfulness to genuinely moving ideas about the interconnected nature of all our lives. It sounds like a massive undertaking, and the actor recently spoke about the possibilities of the job. Read More »

Questions about Cloud Atlas, the very ambitious adaptation of David Mitchell‘s novel that was written and will be directed by Tom Tykwer and Andy and Lana Wachowski, are slowly being answered. We know the cast (Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Susan Sarandon, Ben Whishaw, Jim Broadbent and possibly Bae Doona) and we know that many, if not all of those actors will play multiple roles in the six interconnected stories that make up the novel’s unconventional narrative.

But we’ve wondered how Tykwer and the Wachowskis will manage to direct the film together, and now here’s info: they’ll work with two full filmmaking teams in parallel. Tykwer will head one team and the Wachowskis the other when cameras start to roll in Germany next month. Read More »

As the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer have cast up their film adaptation of the David Mitchell novel Cloud Atlas, we’ve seen quite a few good choices being made. Tom Hanks, Hugo Weaving, Ben Whishaw, Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon and Jim Broadbent are the major players who will embody multiple roles in the six slightly interconnected stories that make up Cloud Atlas.

That seems to account for most of the major characters, with one big exception: Sonmi~451, a clone grown to be a server in a dystopian future version of Korea. Casting a non-Korean actress is out of the question (or should be) but we haven’t heard anything until now. Seems that the team has made a good choice, as Bae Doona (Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance, The Host, Air Doll) has been picked to be one of the film’s most important characters. Read More »

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 »

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