‘Cloud Atlas’ Character Images: Same Actors, Different Faces

3 years ago by  

The Wachowskis will return to theaters in a big way this fall with their blockbuster adaptation of David Mitchell’s time-spanning novel, Cloud Atlas. The book chronicles human experience and interconnectivity across six time periods that stretch from the 19th and 20th centuries, to the distant (and not so distant) future – with characters who appear in (sometimes wildly) different forms as reincarnated versions of themselves. If that sounds like one hell of a challenging story to translate to the screen, rest assured that it was.

The Cloud Atlas extended trailer provided a look at the spectacular visual composition of the film, as imagined by The Wachowskis (who created the Matrix trilogy) and their collaborator, Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run). Today, we have two dozen new images from the film, which show us the various characters from the different eras of the story, with headlining actors like Tom Hanks and Halle Berry undergoing some radical transformations to play their multiple roles.

Given the complexity of the source material, general audiences are likely going to need a helping-hand in order to keep everything straight. While Cloud Atlas follows a very clear and well-constructed thematic through line – about love, death, fate, etc. – the details (like time periods and character names) are sure to get muddled along the way. With that in mind, we’re here to help organize things for you.



The Cloud Atlas novel focuses on the following six epochs and locations:

  1. 19th Century Pacific region – A young man’s account of a voyage to New Zealand that includes conflict between slavers and an indigenous tribe.
  2. 1930s Belgium – A young musician encounters an aging composer afflicted with a disease.
  3. 1970s California – A journalist investigates a death and possible corruption at a nuclear power plant.
  4. 21st Century UK – A publisher tries to flee from some gangsters and is forcibly confined to a nursing home.
  5. Nea So Copros (Futuristic Korea) – A clone rebels against the society that has enslaved her kind.
  6. Post-apocalyptic Hawaii – A primitive tribesman is visited by the member of a technologically-advanced civilization.



Now take a look at the gallery of Cloud Atlas character images:

 Below, you’ll find a breakdown of who is playing which character, listed in order of their 1st appearance in the gallery.



  • Tom Hanks (Dr. Henry Goose / Isaac Sachs / Dermot ‘Duster’ Hoggins / Valleysman Zachry)
  • Jim Sturgess (Adam Ewing / Hae-Joo Im)
  • David Gyasi (Autua)
  • Jim Broadbend (Vyvyan Ayrs / Timothy Cavendish)
  • Halle Berry (Jocasta Crommelynk / Luisa Rey / Meronym)
  • Ben Whisaw (Robert Frobisher)
  • James D’Arcy (Rufus Sixsmith/Asian Character)
  • Hugo Weaving (Bill Smoke/Female character/Asian Character/Tribesman)
  • Keith David (Joe Napier)
  • Doona Bae (Sonmi~451 a Clone)
  • Hugh Grant (Alberto Grimaldi / Cannibal)
  • Susan Sarandon (Ursula)

For a little game, see if you can match each character image to one of the six time periods listed above. HINT: The trailer below will help you.


There are some other cameos – such as a possible one from David Mitchell – and surprises in store, but for now, hopefully this list will help you get your head around the convoluted tale and characters of the film. Tom Hanks certainly looks to be opening his usual trademark persona to a whole range of character types, both good and evil – while Halle Berry is apparently beautiful in any time period or race you put her in. On the whole, the makeup and costume work for the film looks to be as spectacular as the visuals. We could be looking at a serious return to form for the Wachowskis (after the debacle of Speed Racer).

Cloud Atlas will be in theaters on October 26, 2012.

Source: Cloud Atlas Official Site (via Collider)

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT: cloud atlas


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  1. “…with characters who appear in (sometimes wildly) different forms…”

    This is talking about the movie and not the Wachowski’s themselves, right?


    • @Dazed


    • LOL! Good one.

  2. Asian Hugo Weaving is creepy

  3. This looks amazing, but even more difficult to pull off, I’m surprised that they somehow managed to keep it under 3 hours. If this turns out even marginally coherent I will be throughly impressed

  4. Hahaha I thought about leaving a comment like that but thought I’d get booed off here! Genius!!

    Surgeon to Mr Smith, Larry’s balls – ‘Find them and destroy them’

  5. I just watched the trailer to this, I had never even heard of the film or novel before this post. Does anyone know of a cinema release date for UK? Also to anyone who has read the novel, any good? (I’m scared to google because there’s always spoilers.) :(

  6. no one else is outraged at Halle Berry puttin on white face?

    • No, raging over that would be racist in itself. Besides, she appears as black in every other life, so nothing to get worked up about anyways.

    • what a stupid thing to say . . .

    • The actors are apparently playing people from continuing lineages, so Halle playing a white character at some point in the history of the film (and those whites playing Asians, blacks, etc., and men playing women and vise-versa) actually seems biologically and biographical appropriate.

      • I DESPISE auto-correct…that should be “biographicalLY”.


      • Berry’s ’30s character is of Indo/Roma (gypsy) descent, so she’s fair in not being “wholly” white

    • Halle Berry is half Caucasian so she is not putting on “White face”.

    • I’d be more concerned with Jim Sturgess, Hugo Weaving, et al, putting on “yellow” face.

  7. the wachowskis have been skating by on the success of the first matrix and havent done anything good since. their only decent work has been V for vendetta and they only wrote the screenplay based of alan moores work, so i give them no credit for that in any way really. speed racer was possibly one of the worst movies ive ever seen. long story short, the wachowskis are a cinematic one hit wonder.

    • V strayed so far from the spirit of the graphic novels it might have well been written by them. Alan Moore was right to be ticked off about that one.

  8. i´m a bit afraid that the philosophic message will be again so over the top and without a meaning and not realy understandable like in matrix 2 and 3,they are the producers and tykwer is directing,but the most influence comes from the wachochswkis i.m.o..

  9. but alone the fact that hanks plays multiple roles is worth for the price of the ticket. but, this is now realy a maybe not so unique,but a different and interessting concept. i say that because most of the people have enough of reboots or movies with different style but with nearly the same concept. but,critics will never fail,and that is good so,cause without it would be boring if everybody would like the same things. but some people are following just other critical people without there own attitude. that is just my opinion.

  10. I love SPEED RACER.

    • I thought it was a very fun film and don’t know why so many people hated it.

      • thats how I feel about matrix 2 and 3

        • Yep. I’m okay with Matrix three but love matrix reloaded. I think it’s better than the first.

      • Because Speed Racer is a family movie about a family that sticks together. It’s considered fashionable in our cynical times to sneer at such a quaint concept. We’ve been “Sorkinized” as a society. We don’t talk to each other anymore. We sneer and publicly humiliate one another.

  11. I am so there. Wachowskis created a nearly perfect sci-fi movie and that is SIR Tom Hanks!

  12. Halle Berry’s 1930s character is Jocasta Crommelynk, the wife of Broadbent’s Ayers

    • Thanks Dre!

      • No problem. I just recently reread the book so it’s mostly fresh.
        Hugo’s 21st cen. woman is Nurse Noakes, by the way (a fitting role for him, I think). His future Hawai’ian character, I can speculate, is Old George, a character is kind of an apparition to Zachry and is, basically, the Devil.

  13. Does anybody else think of the Mad-Hatter when looking at Hugo Weaving in that last picture of him? Well…an extremely gruesome and ugly version of the Mad-Hatter.

  14. Yes – the book is amazing. And yes that would have to be Old George. I am impressed that I recognize most of the scenes as from the book so am really looking forward to it. To me, looking at the eyes – they seem to indicate what ‘side’ the character is on.

  15. White guy slanted-eye appear as Asian looks like alien creature.

  16. I just watched Cloud Atlas for the second time. And I thought it would be great to count the roles each on play. However, in my counting, I found that I was off. So I turned to the credits… I found that Tom Hanks played six roles, as did Halley Berry.

    In checking the info on the web, I ran across your site. But I found the count per actor a bit off. Thought I would share a bit of new knowledge with you, so you can update your site a bit….

    Still an amazing aricle…

  17. I like the thought it was great…one ward ….life…..