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Tom Hanks To Star in Tykwer and Wachowskis' Cloud Atlas, Selling at Cannes

Photo of Anne Thompson 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.
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Thompson on Hollywood

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.

This article is related to: Festivals, Headliners, Studios, In Production, Cannes, Warner Bros./New Line


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.