If you’ve been following the movie adaptation of David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas you’ll know The Wachowskis (The Matrix) and Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run) are co-directing, Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Bae Doona, Susan Sarandon, Ben Whishaw and Jim Broadbent are starring, and Warner Bros. are aiming for a release towards the end of next year.
In a new interview producer Stefan Ardnt said the movie is now set to begin shooting mid-to-late September at Germany’s Studio Babelsberg with financing and cast deals almost in place. He also said the budget was “definitely lower” than the $100 million – $120 million number which had been thrown around, and revealed the unique filming set-up with Tykwer and The Wachowskis.
“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,” Arndt said.
Part of the concept of the film will see the actors play multiple roles in the various storylines. Tykwer and the Wachowski siblings will shoot parallel to each other using two separate film crews. Arndt wouldn’t confirm details but it’s expected Tykwer, whose credits include the 18th century-set Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, will handle Cloud Atlas’ period era plotlines while the Wachowskis apply their Matrix mojo to the novel’s sci-fi settings.
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. Over the weekend I tracked down and read the script out of curiosity, and the draft I read was very long and very ambitious. All six stories are told simultaneously, cutting from 2346 to 2009 to 1864 and back again. The payoff is a conclusion which wraps up all the stories in an epic fashion.
Specific roles haven’t been confirmed, but Halle Berry is expected to play Meronym, a member of the last remnants of technologically-advanced civilization, and South Korean actress Bae Doona (The Host) will likely play Sonmi~451, a genetically-engineered clone in the year 2144. Hugo Weaving revealed earlier this year that he’ll be playing 6 different characters.