The sci-fi film Cloud Atlas is extremely ambitious. Not only does the film twine together multiple storylines, it was written and directed by the Wachowskis, Andy and Lana (Speed Racer, the Matrix Trilogy), and German director Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run). On top of that, the same actors whose story spans over 1,000 years will play multiple characters. It may be hard to keep track of all of this on screen, and it’s difficult to tell if three directors could balance these themes and storylines to make everything cohesive. As writer/director Lana Wachowski says, “”We thought about these individual characters as aspects of larger characters. Their lives are interwoven over one big story that takes place over a thousand years.”
The film isn’t set for release until October 26th but if you’re one of the lucky few who will attend this year’s Toronto International Film Festival in September, then you’ll get a chance to take a sneak peek at Cloud Atlas at the film’s world premiere. Until then, Warner Bros. has released two images from the film.
The first image is of a homeless-looking Tom Hanks meeting a woman from an advanced civilization played by Halle Berry. The second image shows a composer, played by Jim Broadbent, and his apprentice, played by Ben Whishaw. If you want to know how these images relate to each other then you’ll have to read the best-selling novel by David Mitchell.
Here’s the official synopsis for Cloud Atlas:
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.
It sounds as if this could be a film in the vein of Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia, only wrapped in SF trappings, weaving smaller stories in and out of each other, with one overall theme and narrative. The bigger question is whether the Wachowskis and Twyker pull off the scope of Cloud Atlas, and for that we’ll just have to wait until the film hits theaters this Fall.
UPDATE! Twenty more images from Cloud Atlas are now available right here.