Cloud Atlas has been in development for a while now with Tom Hanks, Natalie Portman and Halle Berry attached. Berry said in November that things may get going in the summer but the movie, which is being produced and directed by The Wachowskis (The Matrix), has yet to find studio backing.
When the project was first announced Run Lola Run director Tom Tykwer was said to be directing, however over recent months The Wachowskis have been mentioned whenever the project comes up. Well in a recent interview Natalie Portman confirmed that it will be a group effort, with both The Wachowskis and Tykwer directing.
From Entertainment Weekly (via The Playlist):
“I don’t know what’s going on with financing,” Portman told EW in an interview that’s not online yet. “I read it while doing [The Wachowski produced] ‘V for Vendetta’ and I gave it to the Wachowskis and to Tom Tykwer (he shot a “Paris Je Taime” short with her around the same time). Now they’re directing it together, the three of them. I will have some acting role in it if it happens, but probably nothing major.”
Here’s the synopsis of the book, written by David Mitchell:
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.
Some have said the book is un-filmable as it spans thousands of years and over several genres, but Tykwer has been working on adapting the novel into a screenplay for over a year so he should have worked it out by now. The Wachowskis are currently looking for a studio to provide the budget which stands at around $80-$100 million, but with big names attached it shouldn’t be too difficult. In theory.