One of the secret screenings at this year’s Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas was Cloud Atlas, and luckily the Wachowskis were on hand to fill in the blanks afterwards. Since Warner Bros. released the epic, six-minute international trailer for Cloud Atlas, the internet has been abuzz with how directors Andy and Lana Wachowski with Tom Tykwer managed to piece together David Mitchell’s novel for a big-screen film adaptation. Check out the video of the Q&A below:
The secret screening took place at the Alamo Drafthouse with a Q&A afterwards moderated by HitFix.com’s Drew McWeeny. The siblings were very gracious, charming, and well received by the Austin crowd, and many felt Cloud Atlas was a monumental achievement in sci-fi cinema. The Wachowskis seemed very proud of their work with Tykwer.
The novel was once thought to be unfilmmable. Cloud Atlas is essentially six separate storylines that span over 1,000 years, so taking these elements and making one solid movie out of them seemed impossible. The Wachowskis and Tywker adapted the novel by separating each story, and then wrote and shot each sequence individually. After all six stories were finished, the trio put together the puzzle pieces to make one whole movie. Appropriately enough, this was the same approach Mitchell took while writing the novel.
It feels like Cloud Atlas should be watched as if it were a puzzle rather than a straightforward narrative. The settings, characters, and time periods should be viewed as pieces in a larger picture, like in a tapestry or mosaic. The Wachowskis also talked about tiny little Easter eggs that would appear throughout the film, including similar character names, decisions, and narrative arcs.
Cloud Atlas will open in theaters everywhere on October 26, 2012.