The long gestating Cloud Atlas is finally ready to roll this September. MTV reports that the Wachowski's and Tom Twyker will start work on the film in September with a reduced budget. The budget has been reported as being between $100 million to $120 million, but producer Stefan Ardnt confirmed that it will be"definitely lower" than that. Ardnt is confident the trio has worked out a solution, saying, “"Many have called the novel unfilmable, but Tom [Tykwer] and the Wachowskis have found a way to tell these stories in an amazing, linear and very cinematic way."
The film has Tom Hanks and Halle Berry in the leads, with Hugo Weaving, Ben Whishaw, Susan Sarandon, Bae Doona and Jim Broadbent. Cloud Atlas follows six storylines which range from the South Pacific in the 19th Century to California in the 1970s to a post-apocalyptic future. Each actor in the film will be playing multiple roles, but specific roles have yet to be confirmed. Earlier we reported that Hugo Weaving will in fact be playing 6 different characters. Here’s the synopsis of the book:
The story presents six narratives that evoke an array of genres, from Melvillean high-seas drama to California noir and dystopian fantasy. There is a naive clerk on a nineteenth-century Polynesian voyage: and aspiring composer who insinuates himself to the home of a syphilitic genius: a journalist investigating a nuclear plant: a publisher with a dangerous best-seller on his hands: and a cloned human being created for slave labour. These five stories are bisected and arranged around a sixth, the oral history of a post-apocalyptic island, which forms the heart of the story.
According to MTV, the Wachowskis and Tykwer will be splitting directing duties as follows: "They will shoot this sci-fi epic in parallel with two separate teams. We’re guessing the Wachowskis will be bringing their forward-looking "Matrix" vision to the futuristic parts of the film, while Tykwer will take charge of the period storylines."
I am happy that this film is actually getting off the ground. There have been many other projects that have stumbled or even been shut down because of budgets. Cloud Atlas is set for a 2012 release. I for one am very interested in seeing how this adaptation translates to the big screen.