‘Cloud Atlas’ Five Film Facts
'Cloud Atlas' photo from Warner Bros.
One of the most ambitious films of the year, and possibly ever, "Cloud Atlas," opens wide this weekend. Three directors and an all-star cast featuring Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon, Hugh Grant and many more bring this genre, gender, and time-bending epic to life. We all know "Cloud Atlas" aims high, but here are five facts about the film you may not know.
L-R: Tom Twyker, Lana & Andy Wachowski of 'Cloud Atlas'.
1. While filming "V for Vendetta" (2005), Natalie Portman became completely immersed in David Mitchell's novel, "Cloud Atlas." The Oscar winning actress gave the book to "V" co-producer and writer, Lana Wachowski, who is best known for making "The Matrix" trilogy with her brother Andy. Lana loved the novel and immediately shared it with Andy. Soon after, the Wachowskis implored writer/director Tom Twyker to read Mitchell's tome, as the siblings had wanted to work with Twyker since falling in love with his Independent Spirit Award winner "Run Lola Run" (1998). Twyker took the book with him on vacation, read it in a "stressed and inspired" frenzy, and called Lana in the middle of the night to sign on to co-direct, write, and produce alongside the Wachowskis.
One Hot Mess
2. Next came the difficult job of adapting what Mitchell himself thought to be an unfilmable novel. Written in six separate genres, six distinct main characters star in six decidedly different narrative threads, which span 500 years of past, present, and future. Instead of thinking of the film as six disparate stories, though, the Wachowskis and Twyker needed to simplify matters. "The key is to abandon the idea that it's six stories. It's one," says Andy. "Each of the pieces and time periods reflects upon the others throughout the movie. As all these souls evolve, you see the connections between them, and follow their chronologic progress." Of course, it still wasn't an easy task, especially since the Wachowskis and Twyker agreed they would scrap the project without Mitchell's approval. You can see all three directors talk about the scope of "Cloud Atlas" in the filmmaker's introduction above.