Wachowskis’ ‘Cloud Atlas’ To Set Sail in December 2012

Published 3 years ago by , Updated May 18th, 2012 at 1:18 pm,

cloud atlas movie release date Wachowskis Cloud Atlas To Set Sail in December 2012

Thanks to the ongoing 2012 Cannes Film Festival, we now have an update on perhaps the most daring, big-budgeted sci-fi film on the horizon: the adaptation of David Mitchell’s acclaimed novel Cloud Atlas, as directed by the triumvirate of Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run) and Matrix creators Andy and Lana Wachowski.

Warner Bros. heads have reportedly approved the directors’ hefty final cut of the film – which clocks in at about 2 hours and 44 minutes. Moreover, the studio has tentative plans to release Cloud Atlas in theaters on December 6th, 2012, so as to qualify the prestigious picture for this year’s Oscars.

As reported by Indiewire, Warner Bros. originally passed on Cloud Atlas after balking at the projected $170 million price tag. (Due partly to memories of Speed Racer, no doubt.) Thereafter, the Wachowskis and Tykwer managed to collect the necessary funding to move forward from overseas financiers – somewhere in the order of $101 million – and snagged a great cast that includes A-listers like Tom Hanks, who gave up his customary $20 million + salary to help lower costs.

Speaking of the Cloud Atlas cast: big names such as Hanks, Susan Sarandon, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Keith David, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Grant, Jim Sturges and Ben Whishaw are all tackling multiple roles in the film. The logic behind this unorthodox maneuver is to better reflect the theme of interconnectivity across time, space, and even ethnicity, as featured through the six separate narrative threads found in Mitchell’s original book (and now, this film adaptation). Hence, we will get to see someone like Grant play multiple characters –  varying from a 19th-century gentlemen to a futuristic cannibal dwelling in the Hawaiian mountaintops.

cloud atlas conceptual art 570x302 Wachowskis Cloud Atlas To Set Sail in December 2012

Conceptual art for 'Cloud Atlas'

While the Wachowskis are more (in)famous for their ambitious projects that failed to live up to expectations (see: the Matrix sequels), Tykwer’s record isn’t perfect either. Though, like those filmmaking siblings, the latter’s “misfires” usually manage to leave an impression (see: Perfume: The Story of a Murderer).

If nothing else, Cloud Atlas seems destined to go down as either a fascinating experiment in grand-scale cinematic storytelling, or a bloated mess that you can’t turn your eyes away from. (Here’s hoping it’s the former.)

To reiterate: Cloud Atlas is tentatively set to arrive in U.S. theaters on December 6th, 2012. We will let you know if that plan changes.

Source: Indiewire

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  1. Cool, I’m in. Grant better not give that stupid hoo-hoo laugh when he plays a cannibal that he gives in every rom-com.

    • He s almost unrecognizable as the cannibal

  2. Saw the test screening last night. The first half is Sooooooooo hard to follow and doesn’t gel well. The second half kicks major ass and comes together nicely. I think a re-edit of the first half would work wonders for this movie

  3. what the hell is this thing about ?

  4. “…19th-century gentlemen to a futuristic cannibal dwelling in the German mountaintops.” It sounds like just the location filming is in Germany. I don’t recall Germany in the book. I think the actual location for his scenario is the future Hawaiian islands. But I could have totally forgotten.

    • Sorry, that was my bad – certain scenes are being filmed in the German mountains, but I believe that setting is standing in for the post-apocalyptic Hawaiian landscape depicted in Mitchell’s original novel.

      I’ve corrected that bit.

      • From what I took: (spoilers)
        The main actors are reincarnated in every story. Each story deals with our greed and how we keep making he same mistakes. Each story supplies a key element for the next. It starts in the 18th century, jumps to

      • …to the 1920s, to the 1970s, to the present, to the future then to the post apocalyptic future.

  5. Big admirer of the Wachowski’s work. From Bound all the way to Speed Racer. Can’t wait to see this.

  6. The reason the ‘Matrix’ sequels didn’t work as well as they should have is, in my opinion, the Wachowski siblings were stretched too thin; they were working on not only the two movies, but the Animatrix shorts, the video game, the comic books, and the online multi-player thing, if they’d focused exclusively on the two movies and the ‘…Osiris’ Animatrix short prologue, maybe they would have been better.

    As regards ‘Cloud Atlas’, this is an undeniably fascinating project, which will be sure to be closely watched by the industry at large, given it’s unconventional funding arrangement, but with a highly complex plot, a two-and-three-quarter-hour running time, and a release just one week before the all-conquering ‘The Hobbit’ is released, there’s no doubt the investors have taken one heck of a risk on this, and one I’m not entirely sure is going to work, considering the $100m budget, the film itself, however, may work like gangbusters, but it’s the box-office that will decide this movie’s fate, when all is written…

  7. Speed Racer is a pretty amazing movie. It was made with the utmost love and attention: that’s why it failed. We live in an age where you’re expected to laugh st something, not laugh along with it.

    Having said that, I really think the Waso. Brothers made “Speed Racer” and “Ninja Assassin” for the express purpose of working out the camera tricks necessary for “Cloud Atlas”.

    A lot like how James Cameron made “Avatar” as a demo reel for his new technology except now he wants to only make “Avatar” movies from now on. He’s gone Lucas on us.