‘Cloud Atlas’ Trailer: 6 Dazzling Minutes of the Human Experience

Published 3 years ago by , Updated July 29th, 2012 at 2:54 pm,

[UPDATE: We’ve added a video featuring the directors of Cloud Atlas.]

The first footage from Lana as well as Andy Wachowski (creators of The Matrix) and Tom Tykwer’s (Run Lola Run) Cloud Atlas has premiered online. The preview alone is a massive undertaking, as it encapsulates the filmmakers’ kaleidoscopic statement about human existence in a mystifying (some might say confounding) manner.

David Mitchell’s source novel (and its film adaptation) introduces a sickened clerk (Jim Sturgess) on a Polynesian sea voyage in the 19th century, scribbling his experiences down for the sake of posterity. It jumps ahead in time to the 1930s, where an aspiring composer (Ben Whishaw) discovers the clerk’s journal – while living alongside a deteriorating master composer (Jim Broadbent), who recognizes the tune his pupil plays… from his dreams.

Confused yet? The unifying concept between the six separate stories that make up Cloud Atlas is that each features the same souls, reincarnated throughout the ages (played by the same actors and actresses). For example: Tom Hanks and Halle Berry portray a nuclear power plant engineer and investigative journalist in the 1970s, respectively, who are immediately (magically?) smitten with one another. The two return as a rare survivor of the global apocalypse (Hanks) who forms a connection to an emissary from a civilization that’s risen in the aftermath (Berry). We also glimpse Doona Bae (The Host) as a human clone from the future, whose sense of individuality puts her at risk, Hugh Grant reappearing throughout the ages as “incredibly evil” people, including a vicious cannibal – and Susan Sarandon as the (eternally unobtainable) object of Broadbent’s affections.

You can listen to what the Wachowskis and Tykwer have to say about Cloud Atlas (and its six-minute trailer) in the video below:

Tykwer and the Wachowskis have constructed a visually dazzling film, evidenced by scenery ranging from the futuristic cityscapes reminiscent of The Matrix – to uncivilized portions of the world from centuries ago – and post-apocalyptic forestry populated by the scattered and savage remnants of humanity. The project required multiple directors, cinematographers, editors, and production designers, who spread out to capture footage in areas around Spain, England, and Germany.

All in all the final result is an ambitious attempt to explore issues about the cyclical nature of life, death, and human experience, in a manner that makes a film like Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain look almost simplistic by comparison. Cloud Atlas is, for sure, a daring experiment in cinematic storytelling – and seems worth checking out, even if it ultimately proves to be only partially successful.

tom hanks halle berry cloud atlas trailer Cloud Atlas Trailer: 6 Dazzling Minutes of the Human Experience

Tom Hanks and Halle Berry in 'Cloud Atlas'

The Cloud Atlas cast includes Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Doona Bae, Ben Whishaw, James D’Arcy, Zhou Xun, Keith David, David Gyasi, Susan Sarandon, and Hugh Grant.

You can get another early look at that ensemble in (still) motion by checking out our Cloud Atlas screenshot gallery.

Cloud Atlas opens in U.S. theaters on October 26th, 2012.

Source: iTunes Movie Trailers

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  1. Wow, Really!!? It’s too early in the morning to be this blown away by a trailer. Man that’s some heavy stuff. …SOLD! Can’t wait!

    • my sentiments exactly, it was an amazing trailer, hope the movie turns out amazing as well.

    • Wowwy-wow-wow!!

      That story looks huge! I hope it really is as good as it looks!

  2. Blimey. This will either be a masterpiece or an utter disaster. But yeah, intent set with a SIX minute trailer. Reaching for the moon is this. Good luck to it, even if it does have a faint whiff of The Fountain to it.

    * note. I watched the trailer then started writing the comment. Fair play for mentioning The Fountain as well. That’s the vibe I got.

  3. Wow. Just — Wow.

    I remember having a similar feeling the first time I watched The Matrix.

    Here’s hoping this makes the bad taste of the Matrix sequels and Speed Racer go away.

  4. This is breathtaking. I have not had the chills watching a trailer in a long time.

    the cinematography is amazing. great concept.

  5. It’s got Tom Hanks in it . . . It’s worth something. Overall the trailer/premise of the story looks really good and very interested in seeing it. Anyone else notice the really bad CG used with that grapple thingy? It looked awful. I realize they haven’t finished the movie, but damn. Besides that, looks good.

  6. Looks interesting. You might need to get some crib-notes and bring a philosophy professor with you to see it.

  7. Man. just… man! It’s so easy to get burned on these Fountain/Tree of Life/Babel type films but that trailer was amazing. If those six minutes are directly proportionate to the awesomeness of the full movie, that’s going to be one HELL of a movie and you’re looking at next year’s Oscar monster. Other wise, it ends up on the ash pile of like-minded celluloid dreams…

  8. Wow! Just Wow!

  9. This movie is like ‘Crash'(2006)on STEROIDS!!!! Only I’m intrigued by the concept of reincarnation that seems to be a running theme throughout the film. I’m also sure that this movie is going to take multiple viewings to full understand it. Either way, I can’t wait to see it (Multiple Times)!!! The scope of the Trailer alone looks so Epic (There’s just no other way to describe it).

  10. Meh

  11. 1st off I have to say I’m amazed that there’s actual video of the Wachowski siblings. Seriously! I can’t remember the last time I watched a video of them together talking about anything. But then again I stopped trying so there’s probably loads of stuff online.
    Like others have said above me I have a feeling that this will be one of those films that you absolutely love or absolutely hate. Most recent example of that IMO is The Tree of Life. I loved it but know there’s some that hated it. I haven’t met anyone who’s said it’s just ok or pretty good.
    The trailer was amazing so my anticipation has risen. This is slowly rising the ladder to be a must see…

  12. Great trailer! I am in! But seeing Larry as “Lana” is just weird. I saw an interview with him after the first Martrix when he was still a “man” and I just cant quite see him for anything else. But the trailer? They nailed it!

  13. Lana….was a Larry.

    Regardless this movie looks like a real trip. I just don’t know how i feel about these philosophical movies because i hate speculating and not knowing if i’m right because i’m stupid so movies like waking life and tree of life usually leave me a little bummed even if i love them

  14. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m actually looking forward to this movie. Wachowskis may finally be forgiven for Matrix revs

    • I think the trouble with the whole ‘Matrix’ sequel enterprise was that Larry and Andy Wachowski simply stretched themselves far too thin creatively; they had not just ‘…Reloaded’ and ‘…Revolutions’ on the boil, but also the totally superfluous live-action parts of the video game, the ‘Animatrix’ animated shorts, comic books, and the online multi-player ‘Matrix’ game, phew… had they made a SINGLE ‘Matrix’ sequel of around 170 minutes in length (with the narrative focus on the Matrix and not on Zion) and dumped the other nonsense, it probably would’ve been much better received overall.

      As long as they have only one project to work on at any one time, the Wachowski siblings do pretty darn well, so hoping ‘Cloud Atlas’ lives up to it’s potential, as that trailer is simply sensational…

  15. This has GOT to be good, can’t wait!

  16. The Matrix trilogy, V for Vendetta, The International ? definitely give it a shot

  17. Looks convoluted and terrible. Flop written all over this. And I like the Wachaowskis too:(
    …Speed Racer was completely under appreciated btw..

    • Absolutely with you on Speed Racer, I was totally surprised by it but the genius of that film is spreading…

      My girlfriend got me the DVD for my last birthday, who watched me open it with one eyebrow raised. I sat her down to watch it with me; she started off with her arms folded and a “what on Earth are you making me watch” look all over her face. 135 minutes later including a few tears and a lot of laughter, she agrees it’s a film we’ll be showing our kids!

      Back on topic, the above trailer looks immense.

  18. Just like The Hobbit and lord of the rings…I never read any of the books. I didn’t even know this Cloud Atlas was based on a series of books ( cloud being the 3rd book) I can tell you, this trailer blew me away. After The Avengers, This will be the 2nd movie I’ll be seeing in the theather this year.

  19. Im not sure if my butt and my brain can the dual beating this kind of movie brings to the theater. I’m interested in seeing it but I think it will be better, for me anyway, on a disc – where I can pause it, contemplate, re-watch parts, so on and so forth.

  20. I see a full movie that will be overly draw out with overly mix sub plots on top of sub plots with saying the samething over and over again, the 6 min trailer says it all that’s the movie in the nutshell hell I got it I don’t need to see the movie now, the full movie will be way to long….I bet it’s a 4 hour movie with a lot of close up of the actors staring!!! and talking about a lot of nothing…make it short and sweet and it will be worth looking at..R.G.

  21. I can’t decide if this is awesome or really trippy. It’s probably some combination of both. I guess that’s kinda what I felt when I saw the matrix for the first time.

    Anyways, trailer was very well done. Might check out this movie.

  22. im glad u mention the fountain at the end there.. instantly reminded me of that amazing, though flawed, movie. Im interested, i hope tom hanks isnt miscast.

  23. Halle Berry and Tom Hanks have zero chemistry and are not believable as a couple who have loved each other throughout all eternity. The movie itself, of the different lives of a group of six reincarnated souls, is an interest concept thought.

  24. WOW!! finally something difference!!

  25. That looks really impressive. The only thing I’m concerned about is if it’ll have enough time to tell all these stories. According to IMDB, it’ll be 2h 40min long. I almost feel that it should be 3+ hours to fit everything in.

  26. Looks like crap. I would see it for free let alone pay money on this garbage. Perhaps Warner Bros will stop flushing money down the toilet of the Wachowski brothers.

  27. Cloud Atlas is a mediocre film at best with little to no entertainment value. The 6+ timelines as a whole are uninteresting, predictable, cliche as are the individual plots within each timeline. The sci fi action story was a poor knock off of Equilibrium. The Caucasian male actors in ethnic prosthetic make up were very distracting. The futuristic post Apocalyptic world ripped straight off of Mad Max/Waterworld right down to the way they talked was laughable. A smorgasbord of different genres each poorly executed. Red Box Rental at most. True true.

  28. Was my most anticipated film of the year. I cried during the trailer, that’s how much I connected with this film’s premise. And I’m a huge fan for ambitious, out-of-the-box, epic filmmaking. Caught a screening last night. My thoughts (this might be spoiler-ish):

    – messy. editing is all over the place.

    – cockblocker. the moment I would get fully invested in a scene I’d be taken somewhere else. I never got to fully appreciate any one storyline.

    – makeup. lots and lots of makeup. some of it amazing, some of it so bad it’s disturbing to look at. I can think of 4 makeup jobs in particular that I simply couldn’t help but be distracted by.

    – music. at times distracting and really not that fantastic

    – i thought the stories would tie together more cohesively to express the idea of interconnectedness. I mean, isn’t that the point of Cloud Atlas? I found that they tried to use dialogue to force this idea though. didn’t flow as the trailers suggested

    A fantastic and thought-provoking idea that unfortunately missed the mark in a muddled way for me. Ambitious yet I felt that the first trailer communicates the grander ideas far better than the 3hrs I watched.