The epic sci-fi adaptation Cloud Atlas – which is being co-written and co-directed by The Matrix siblings Andy and Lana Wachowski, along with The International director Tom Tykwer – is set to begin lensing in September at Germany’s Studio Babelsberg, according to THR.
The large scale project stars Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Susan Sarandon, Ben Whishaw and Jim Broadbent, and will be shot primarily in Babelsberg, Berlin and the surrounding area.
Cloud Atlas is based on David Mitchell’s epic novel, which follows six story-lines, each set in a different place and era. The book’s timeline and geography goes from 19th century Australia to post-apocalyptic Hawaii.
In his third novel, David Mitchell erases the boundaries of language, genre and time to offer a meditation on humanity’s dangerous will to power, and where it may lead us. Story lines include: a reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded journalist in Governor Reagan’s California; a vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified “dinery server” on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific Islander witnessing the fall of science and civilization – the narrators of Cloud Atlas hear each other’s echoes down the corridor of history, and their destinies are changed in a variety of ways.
Part of the concept of the film will see the actors play multiple roles in the various story lines, with Tykwer and the Wachowski siblings shooting parallel to each other using separate film crews. Producers wouldn’t confirm details but according to reports, it’s expected Tykwer will handle Cloud Atlas’ period era plotlines, while the Wachowskis tackle the novel’s sci-fi settings.
Germany’s X Filme is the lead producer on Cloud Atlas, having acquired and developed the property. Long time Wachowski sibling collaborator Grant Hill of Anarchos Pictures will also get a producer credit, with Focus Features handling worldwide rights to the movie, which Warner Bros. will release in the U.S.