Andy and Lana Wachowski suffered a big stumble in 2008 with their candy-colored misfire Speed Racer, but the Matrix directors are back with a new project that could be their most intriguing yet. Co-directed by the siblings and Tom Tykwer and based on the acclaimed book by David MitchellCloud Atlas features a star-studded cast — including Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Ben Whishaw, Susan Sarandon, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Grant, and Bae Doona, each in multiple roles — in six interlinked stories that unfold across different times, places, and genres.

It’s been high on our list of films we’re eager to see, and our anticipation was only heightened by the strong early buzz from test screenings. Now the great news is that we’ll get the chance to check it out sooner than we thought. Warner Bros. has just set a U.S. release date of October 26 for the film, bumping it up several weeks from its previously announced December 6 release date. Read more after the jump.

Deadline got the scoop on the updated release date, and we’re very glad to hear about the change. Not just because we’ll get to see the movie sooner, but also because it pulls the film out of the crowded December slate and gives it a chance to build up some buzz before Oscar hopeful season begins in earnest. Based on what we know about the film, Cloud Atlas doesn’t sound like an obvious crowd-pleaser, and it’s easy to see how it could’ve gotten buried under higher-profile titles like The Hobbit, Les Misérables, or The Great Gatsby.

The new slot puts Cloud Atlas against some less intimidating competition, including the surfing drama Of Men and Mavericks, the video game horror Silent Hill: Revelation 3D, the teen comedy Fun Size, and the ensemble romcom The Big Wedding. Other prestige projects opening in the same month are Ben Affleck’s Argo and Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master, but both will be in their third weekends by the time Cloud Atlas rolls out.

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