We’ve finally got a chance to see footage from Tom Tykwer and Andy and Lana Wachowski‘s genre-hopping and centuries-spanning epic Cloud Atlas. If you just want to watch the footage, hit the jump now. But once you’ve seen that, I expect those who haven’t read the book might be wondering just what the hell is going on.

Because some people don’t start paying attention to a movie until the trailer is out (which makes total sense) let’s recap quickly: the film is based on David Mitchell‘s novel that is structured as a series of six vaguely interrelated stories, presented in an unusual structure. In the novel, you get half the first story, which jumps to the first half of the second, and so on until the entire sixth story plays out at the center of the novel, and then things work back out to the opening, so the end of the book is the second half of the first tale.

The trailer suggests that the film plays up the interconnectedness between stories perhaps even more than the book does. In part that’s because some of the key characters in various tales are played by the same actors. So, as the trailer shows, Tom Hanks and Halle Berry play characters in at least two or three chapters. (And does the trailer reveal too much for one of Berry’s characters? Maybe, but it’s not the worst choice.)

That’s just the beginning. What’s with the shots that look like they’re right out of Amistad? What’s all the futuristic stuff about? Below we’ll use some shots from the film to illustrate what’s going on with the film, in as spoiler-free a manner as possible. Read More »

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With Cloud Atlas set to play TIFF, we knew that images and new info would be arriving soon, and now we’ve got the first official pics of Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, and Ben Whishaw as they appear in two of the film’s six stories.

Written and directed by Tom Tykwer (directing one unit) and Andy and Lana Wachowski (co-directing another unit) the film is based on David Mitchell‘s novel of the same name, and features all the actors playing multiple roles, some of which have them crossing gender and racial lines. (Hugh Grant says his characters are “incredibly evil,” too.) Their characters appear in six stories that cross genres and centuries, but are all thematically related, and linked by paths of intersection between the various characters’ lives.

Above you can see Hanks and Berry as they appear in the novel’s final story ‘Sloosha’s Crossin’ an’ Ev’rythin’ After,’ which takes place in post-apocalyptic Hawaii. (Well, “final” isn’t quite right, as readers of the novel know, but that’s close enough.) Below you’ll find the shot of Broadbent and Whishaw. And more images are coming later today, at which point we’ll update.

Update: the promised additional images are here, and available in a flash player below.

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Brad Anderson‘s The Hive has cast its first non-Halle Berry role. Abigail Breslin has just signed on to the Rich D’Ovidio-scripted thriller, which will enter production in Los Angeles this summer. Berry plays a 911 call operator who comes face-to-face with her own worst fears as she tries to save a teenage girl (Breslin) from a vicious killer.

Breslin’s switched easily between genres over the course of her career, but she has relatively few straight-up thrillers under her belt so The Hive represents a bit of a change of pace for her. Breslin is currently shooting Ender’s Game, from director Gavin Hood. [Variety]

After the jump, the stellar comedic cast of A.C.O.D. somehow gets even better, and Marcia Gay Harden gets a job in Get a Job.

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Geek favorite Nathan Fillion has signed on for Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Sea of Monsters, the Thor Freudenthal-directed sequel to Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief. As Greek god Hermes, father of antagonist Luke (Jake Abel), Fillion joins a strong supporting cast that includes Yvette Nicole Brown (Community), Missi Pyle (The Artist), and Mary Birdsong (The Descendants) as the three Fates.

Logan Lerman, who starred in the first film as Percy, will reprise his role, along with Alexandra Daddario and Brandon T. Jackson. The Sea of Monsters is scheduled to hit theaters March 26, 2013.

After the jump, Halle Berry comes back to The Hive, and Anthony Michael Hall stabs Danny Trejo in the back as Mickey Rourke watches on.

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We’ve talked a lot about Cloud Atlas, which sees Tom Tykwer teaming up with Andy and Lana Wachowski to head up parallel film units each shooting three tales adapted from David Mitchell‘s novel. The cast is great (Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Ben Whishaw, Susan Sarandon, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Grant and Bae Doona) and we’ve gone over and over about how the actors are playing multiple roles, genders and races. It’s big ambitious stuff, but if you haven’t read the novel it might also be easy to get totally lost in all the explanation. (Having read the book, it becomes a lot more clear, I promise.)

We;ve seen a few on-set photos and recently got a production wrap photo that shows a few of the props and set dressing bits used in the film.

But how about a couple more images? There is now one shot that suggests a lot about how the book’s six stories are being visually connected, as it shows the ship from the first tale seemingly approaching the dystopian version of Seoul, South Korea that is the setting for the fifth. There is also a great concept rendering of Seoul in the year 2144, complete with a high-speed pursuit in progress. And, as a bonus, we’ve got an actual shot of South Korean actress Bae Doona as she appears in the film. Check ‘em all out below. Read More »

I’ve gone on and on about Cloud Atlas, the film that Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski are directing based on the novel by David Mitchell. You’ll have to excuse my interest and enthusiasm — the film is a genre-hopping collection of six stories, with Tykwer and the Wachowskis directing parallel film units that each tackled three tales. It’s a crazy piece of ambitious filmmaking.

The cast is huge (Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Ben Whishaw, Susan Sarandon, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Grant and Bae Doona) and most actors are playing multiple roles. We’ve seen some spy pics of the shot, but now we have the first official image. It shows none of the actors, but does give a rare look at the Wachowskis, and shows some hints of the production design that should help ground the movie for anyone who has read the book.

Check out the pic below. Read More »

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 »

Joel Schumacher has confirmed in an interview that Halle Berry is in talks to take the lead in the tentatively titled The Hive, about “a female emergency line operator who, in trying to help a young girl, comes up against a killer from her own past.” While nothing is official at this point, the director said, he and Berry are both interested in working together and the producers of The Hive seem to be on board with hiring her.

The thriller is expected to begin shooting in February, though Schumacher has said that he may shoot another, smaller film before that. Berry will next appear in Garry Marshall’s limp-looking ensemble romcom New Year’s Eve, and is currently shooting Cloud Atlas with directors Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, and Lana Wachowski. [Coming Soon]

After the jump, surfing biopic Mavericks gets a new title and two new stars, and 50 Cent lines up yet another acting gig.

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