Cloud Atlas is getting noticed more and more this week as a few days ago a number of images were released onto the net from the film and now we have an incredible six minute trailer showcasing the vast scope that this story takes on. Here are a number of reasons as to why Cloud Atlas has no choice but to be an absolutely incredible film.

Cloud Atlas is based on the novel of the same name that was released back in 2004. The novel was written by British author David Mitchell (not the comedian). To this date Mitchell has written five novels, two of which have been nominated for the prestigious Booker Prize. Mitchell has received huge praise throughout his career for his work. Cloud Atlas is one of the novels that was nominated for the Booker Prize as well as being nominated also for the Nebula Award and the Arthur C. Clarke Award among many others as well as actually winning the Literary Fiction Award at the British Books Award. The novel is clearly held in very very high regard and so turning it into a film will have a huge pressure on it, especially because of the nature of the story which itself is an intriguing piece of imagination.

The official synopsis of the film is thus: An exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution. This sounds fascinating itself but when you learn of the structure it becomes even more compelling. Cloud Atlas tells six nested stories, all of which are being read or observed by a character in the next story; it then mirrors itself as the second half to each story is revealed one after the other. This means that the cast are playing a number of characters through each time line and this structure is sure to make for a very exciting journey for the cast and audience, but it is going to take one hell of a good cast to make this work.

And a pretty good cast is what they have got for Cloud Atlas. Here we go: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Susan Sarandon, Hugh Grant, Ben Whishaw, Keith David, Jim Broadbent and James D’Arcy.  The cast is a wide range of careers as you have people like Tom Hanks and Halle Berry who are already accomplished actors and you have the wonderful Ben Whishaw who I am a huge fan of and really hoping his career takes off (he will also be playing Q in Skyfall).

Whishaw is destined to become a huge Hollywood property.

The budget is around $100 million and clearly a lot of that has gone to ensure that a cast capable of playing a number of characters over different times and places is gathered and it certainly looks like an ensemble to be excited about!

To direct a film with such a huge scope and with so much pressure with such a talented cast is no easy thing that’s for sure and Cloud Atlas has three directors! Will it be a case of the old proverb “too many cooks…” or will it work perfectly? I suspect the latter. Each of the three directors (Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski) combined to write the screenplay and they clearly have a lot of passion for the project. Because of the size of the project two units were needed to make sure the film was created to the best it could be: Tykwer directed one unit and the Wachowski siblings directed the other. Tykwer has experience with films with a number of narratives as he has previously directed the fantastic German film Run Lola Run. The Wachowski brothers directed The Matrix and it’s sequels so they can handle this vein of films very well too.

 

The six minute trailer is absolutely fantastic. It manages to give an idea of the film, bring together the themes and characters that Cloud Atlas will explore but does not give away any major plot details or spoilers and so it can really be enjoyed for its visual beauty. It is obvious that nothing has been held back as the special effects look absolutely stunning and the actors look as though they will be putting in a shift and a half. Not many people will know about this film yet but now they will have to; it is definitely going to be a big deal. If this is done right it could become known to be one of the greatest films of all time. It is a huge project but hopefully it will all be worth it in the end.

Hanks and Berry in one of their many guises.

I, for one, am very very excited for the arrival of Cloud Atlas. It is set to be released in October of this year however no specific date has been slated yet. The sooner it comes round the better!

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