This is our first look at Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, and Ben Whishaw in the big screen adaptation of David Mitchell‘s novel Cloud Atlas. The movie was co-written and co-directed by Andy and Lana Wachowski (the Matrix trilogy) and Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run).
Each of the cast members take on multiple roles in the film. There are six stories in the movie that the characters will appear in that cross through different genres and time. The stories are thematically related, and they are linked by the intersections of various characters throughout the film. Lana Wachowski had this to say in a statement,
We thought about these individual characters as aspects of larger characters. Their lives are interwoven over one big story that takes place over a thousand years.
"The powerful, inspiring epic Cloud Atlas explores how the actions and consequences of individual lives impact one another throughout the past, the present and the future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and a single act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution."
The image above is from the story "Sloosha’s Crossin’ an’ Ev’rythin’ After," which takes place in post-apocalyptic Hawaii. It's a sci-fi story of a man (Hanks) who meets an emissary from an advanced civilization (Berry). The image below is from "Letters from Zedelghem" about a composer (Broadbent) and his apprentice (Whishaw).
More images will be released later today so stay tuned! Cloud Atlas is set to premiere at TIFF in October, and will be released in theaters on October 26th! I can't wait to see how this movie turns out! I'm looking forward to it.
Here's a breakdown of each story told in the novel:
The novel consists of six nested stories that take the reader from the remote South Pacific in the nineteenth century to a distant, post-apocalyptic future. Each tale is revealed to be a story that is read (or observed) by the main character in the next. All stories but the last are interrupted at some moment, and after the sixth story concludes at the center of the book, the novel "goes back" in time, "closing" each story as the book progresses in terms of pages but regresses in terms of the historical period in which the action takes place. Eventually, readers end where they started, with Adam Ewing in the Pacific Ocean, circa 1850.
The Pacific Journal of Adam Ewing
Pacific Ocean, circa 1850. Adam Ewing, an American notary's account of a voyage home from the remote Chatham Islands, east of New Zealand. The next character discovers this story as a diary on his patron's bookshelf.
Letters from Zedelghem
Zedelgem, Belgium, 1931. Robert Frobisher, a penniless young English musician, finds work as an amanuensis to a composer living in Belgium. This story is saved in the form of letters to his friend (and implied lover) Rufus Sixsmith, which the next character discovers after meeting Sixsmith.
Half-Lives: The First Luisa Rey Mystery.
Buenas Yerbas, California, 1975. Luisa Rey, a journalist, investigates reports of corruption and murder at a nuclear power plant. The next character is sent this story in the mail, in the form of a manuscript for a novel.
The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish
United Kingdom, early 21st century. Timothy Cavendish, a vanity press publisher, flees the brothers of his gangster client. He gets confined against his will in a nursing home from which he cannot escape. The next character watches a movie dramatisation of this story.
An Orison of Sonmi~451
Nea So Copros (Korea), dystopian near future. Sonmi~451, a genetically-engineered fabricant (clone) server at Papa Song's diner (a proxy for large fast-dining chains), is interviewed before her execution after she rebels against the capitalist totalitarian society that created and exploited her kind. The next character watches Sonmi's story projected holographically in an "orison," a futuristic recording device.
Sloosha's Crossin' an' Ev'rythin' After
Hawaii, post-apocalyptic distant future. Zachry, a tribesman living a primitive life after most of humanity dies during "the Fall," is visited by Meronym, a member of the last remnants of technologically-advanced civilization. This story is told when the protagonist is an old man, to seemingly random strangers around a camp-fire.