September 10, 2011
Next week cameras will start rolling on the movie adaptation of David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas, which has The Wachowskis (The Matrix) and Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run) co-directing.
While promoting his latest film 3, opening on limited screens September 16th in the US, Tykwer said Cloud Atlas was a “big-scale adult movie”, a type of film which is a “dying species” in today’s fanboy and merchandise-driven world.
From The New York Times:
The film is getting under way after many uncertain years in development, and Mr. Tykwer acknowledged that the opportunity to tackle such ambitious material is rare in Hollywood today. “The big-scale adult movie is a dying species,” he said. “Where are the ‘2001s’ and the ‘Lawrence of Arabias’? You go to all these studios, and you see their framed photographs, the films they’re so proud of, and you wonder: Where are the pictures this year that they want blown up with a nice expensive frame around it?”
He has worked closely with the Wachowskis to distill Mr. Mitchell’s synopsis-resistant book into a coherent and filmable screenplay. “It has so many layers that it’s good to have three pairs of eyes on it,” Mr. Tykwer said.
Tom Hanks, who will take on multiple roles in Cloud Atlas, has been king of adult fare over the years with movies such as Forrest Gump, Apollo 13 and The Da Vinci Code. His directing/writing/producing effort Larry Crowne made average numbers this summer with $52 million, but recent successes such as The Help prove adults will turn up when you have buzz and good reviews.
The Cloud Atlas team are aware of the risks, and are trying to keep the budget low (around $100m) by shooting mainly in Berlin where they’ve received tax breaks and extra funding. The movie, which also stars Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Bae Doona, Susan Sarandon, Ben Whishaw, Jim Sturgess and Jim Broadbent, follows six storylines ranging from the South Pacific in the 19th Century to California in the 1970s to a post-apocalyptic future.
The script I read was very long and very ambitious, and Jim Broadbent said in a recent interview with BBC Radio 5 that the movie may end up around 3 hours long, so adults may need extra padding for their butts when Warner Bros. releases it sometime in late 2012.