Are the Wachowskis ready to make good on the promise they showed those many, many years ago? After making the lesbian thriller "Bound" and the groundbreaking "The Matrix," the siblings diluted their goodwill with two bloated, disappointing sequels and then flopped with "Speed Racer" (though the film does have its champions in certain quarters). On the producing front, while they scored with "V For Vendetta" they failed to deliver with "The Invasion" and "Ninja Assassin." In the same vein, Tom Tykwer made a big name for himself with "Run Lola Run" and has failed to match that success since, with a series of films of decreasing quality culminating in last year's truly awful "Three." As the saying goes, go big or go home and for their next directing effort all three helmers are teaming up and getting together one helluva cast to adapt one of the most celebrated, and complex, novels in recent memory.
David Mitchell's "Cloud Atlas" will get the Wachowski/Tykwer treatment with Tom Hanks, Hugo Weaving, Ben Whishaw, Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon and Jim Broadbent all coming aboard. For those unfamiliar with Mitchell’s excellent book, the story follows six stories across time, which fold in on themselves: a 19th century notary on a Pacific expedition, a bisexual musician in the 1930s, a female journalist in a thriller in 1970s California, an aging publisher in London in the present, a clone in a futuristic dystopia, and a Pacific survivor in a post-apocalyptic world. So given the multiple storylines and time periods, the decision has been made that actors will be playing more than one role each in the film and Weaving has revealed a bit more about what we might expect.
"That's a project that's really exciting because all the actors will be playing more than one role," Weaving told the Herald Sun (via Filmonic). "I actually have six characters in the same film and they are all different people in six different stories."
Of course, who those characters are hasn't been divulged just yet. Either way, for the Wachowskis who seem to raise the stakes on each of their films, "Cloud Atlas" may prove to be their most ambitious offering yet. No word yet on how the directing duties will split, but we'd love to see the Wachowskis get out of their futurist mode and try their hand at period material (though we doubt that'll happen). Either way, this is probably the most exciting material the directors have worked with since their debut feature so we're pretty eager to see how this one all comes together.
No release date has been set, but Warner Bros. will be distributing the film and we'd guess we're not going to see this until 2013. Shooting begins in September.