July 26, 2012
Over a year ago we posted that Tom Hanks was cast in an ambitious film adaptation of David Mitchell’s award-winning novel, Cloud Atlas, directed by the Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski (The Matrix) and Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run). It also stars Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Bae Doona, Ben Whishaw, James D’Arcy, Zhou Xun, Keith David, David Gyasi, Hugh Grant and Susan Sarandon. That’s quite an awesome cast, but then again, this isn’t your ordinary film. The first international trailer finally hit today (rumor has it Apple will have an HD version around 1PM EST today) and will premiere to the world at The Toronto International Film Festival (god, I miss that wonderful festival).
Here was my futile attempt at trying to describe it back then: “Cloud Atlas tells six separate stories of six different genres but there is a string that binds one story to the next. For example the first is the diary of an American traveling abroad in the Pacific from a remote island near New Zealand. The second story is about a poor, young musician reading that diary who writes to a friend/implied lover about working as a composer’s assistant in Belgium. The third is a pulp mystery novel that takes place in Buenas Yerbas, California and is about a reporter tracking down a harmful report full of corruption and murder at a nuclear power plant that’s written by the recipient of the musician’s letters. The fourth is about a book publisher who has been sent the pulp mystery novel from the third story. Next is a futuristic story where a clone Sonmi-451 can think on its own and watches the a movie based on the pulp novel. And the final story is set in a post-apocalyptic distant future on Hawaii, where the Sonmi-451 is the face of a new religion.” We also have some stills to gape at courtesy of a Warner Bros. Cloud Atlas widget and EW.
I remember people deemed Alan Moore’s graphic novel Watchmen as unadaptable, but that’s a child’s sneeze compared to the attempt at trying to capture this story in under three hours. The trailer is so impressive as it just keeps unraveling this massive tale and it appears the material may have pulled some inspired performances from Hanks, Grant and Berry–something we haven’t seen from either in quite some time. This is the type of exciting filmmaking that audiences have been waiting for out of the Wachowskis since the first Matrix, and it will be exciting to see what they did as opposed to Tykwer.
It’s got some jaw-dropping visuals as well as the strong source material to build from but knowing American audiences, the scale of the story may cause heads to spin as the film’s six stories cover six different time periods, two of which are in the future. I remember how audiences were puzzled at Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain and there’s no denying the science fiction aspect of this film. So as excited as I am about this film, there’s some hesitation on believing it will be as widely embraced by the mainstream. This is the type of trailer that will make you put all your chips in and say, “I’m all in!” or it could make you recoil and say, “Not for me.” Of course you’d be crazy if you said the latter but I’d understand. I just know that personally, I’m rooting for Cloud Atlas for its gutsy and courageous attempt. If I try to explain the trailer any more, I may run out of superlatives, so I’ll let you just see it now. Just make sure you leave your first reactions below. Warner Bros. is releasing Cloud Atlas on October 26.
Here’s the first five-minute international trailer for Cloud Atlas:[…]