I've never read David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas, but most people assumed the book was unfilmable. Well, the Wachowski siblings and Run Lola Run director Tom Tykwer decided to challenge that assumption, and made a $100 million adaptation of it that's set for release later this year. You may have heard of some of the film's stars: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Susan Sarandon...just a few up-and-comers trying to make it big in the industry.
Anne Thompson did some digging at the Cannes Film Festival, and found out a couple of interesting facts about the film. First off, the version that screened at Cannes was 2 hours and 44 minutes long, which Warner Bros. President Jeff Robinov "approved even though it exceeded the contractual two and half hours." Makes sense - the story follows six different stories in six different times and places that intersect somehow (part of the reason it was called unfilmable), so there's obviously a lot of story they have to fit into a condensed time period.
She also heard that the film is getting a U.S. release date of December 6th, 2012, which is prime positioning for awards contention. There's a chance that release date could change, but pencil it in on your calendars for now. I'm just happy we get to see it at all, because this project sounds pretty insane.
Finally, Thompson heard that Tom Hanks took a big pay cut in order for the filmmakers to have the budget to make the film, even dropping his normal back end stipulations. Seems like he really wanted this vision to come to life, so we'll see if it was all worth it or if it's just a giant train wreck on December 6th. Are you excited about Cloud Atlas?