By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood April 12, 2011 at 9:05AM
David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas is the kind of book that presents a challenge to turn into a movie. But Tom Hanks wants to star in the sprawling multi-layered narrative, which will be adapted by German director Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run) and The Matrix filmmakers Andy and Lana Wachowski, who will co-write and co-direct (they're not the Wachowski brothers anymore). Their home studio, Warner Bros., will release the film in North America. But Focus International will sell foreign rights to the film, which is in pre-production for a September shoot, in Cannes this year.
The story begins in the 1900s and reaches far into the future. The official plot description is below:
CLOUD ATLAS is an epic story of humankind in which the actions and consequences of our lives impact one another throughout the past, present and future as one soul is shaped from a murderer into a savior and a single act of kindness ripples out for centuries to inspire a revolution.
The Wachowskis' Anarchos Pictures and Tykwer's X FIlme will produce the film with Grant Hill and Stefan Arndt under their new label Five Drops, with Philip Lee as executive producer.