May 18, 2012
They’re finally letting the cat out of the bag. Warner Bros has started screening early cuts of Cloud Atlas, the nearly finished Wachowskis & Tom Tykwer adaptation of David Mitchell’s novel, featuring six storylines and actors playing multiple roles/genders/races. This is a project we’ve followed closely for a long time, not only because it’s the latest Wachowskis movie, but because it has the potential to be amazing, with settings that span thousands of years. The studio recently screened the film in Cannes for buyers, and also held test screenings in London and Los Angeles, which I’ve heard some positive feedback from already. More below!
The newest details come from an update via Thompson on Hollywood, the blog run by Anne Thompson who is here in Cannes. She’s heard that the Warner Bros screened a finished 2 hours and 44 minutecut of it in Cannes earlier this week, for international distributors. The original contract said that it had to be under two and a half hours, but WB president Jeff Robinov has approved the slightly longer version (which is a good sign). At the moment, they’re aiming to release Cloud Atlas in December, and I’ve heard it nearly is finished (including effects) so that may a possibility/reality. I’m glad they’re not delaying this like Gravity.
Thompson mentions a date of December 6th, however that seems odd since that date is a Thursday (and only 8 days before WB opens The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in theaters). We’ll keep an eye out for an official date, but it may indeed be early December, meaning it could very well be a strong awards season contender. But does it even have any awards potential? Well, I’ve heard that many actors in it do indeed play different sexes/races, and that it balances six century-spanning storylines very well, so you never know. The cast: Tom Hanks, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Halle Berry, Ben Whishaw,Jim Broadbent.
Our friends at SlashFilm have confirmed that they’ve recently run test screenings in both London and Los Angeles, which is all part of the first phase of marketing, determining whether general audiences like the film (especially at nearly 3 hours) and their reactions to it. I’ve heard a few early reactions from a source, including that it’s like The Matrix meets V for Vendetta meets Babel meets Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, which sounds kind of awesome overall. The editing is apparently the best part of the movie, as it does balance all six storylines well, and overall it’s beautiful and affecting, shot rather classically, without fancy camera movements or anything that is technically groundbreaking. Very interesting. We’ll keep an eye out for more.