It’s been two years since the infamously media-shy Wachowskis unleashed their cinematic take on the classic Japanese toon Speed Racer (watching that pic is kind of like having Skittles injected into your eyeballs). Now, they could be back in the director’s chair again for the adaptation of Cloud Atlas.
Tom Hanks, Jams McAvoy, Natalie Portman, and Halle Berry were rumored to be starring in the project and now Berry has officially confirmed her involvement – though the Wachowskis’ role remains up in the air for the time being.
Berry was at the 42nd NAACP Image Awards when she opened up about her role in the adaptation of author David Mitchell’s acclaimed novel, Cloud Atlas, which is an ensemble piece that follows a series of characters that, despite being separated by the barriers of language, time, and space, find their ultimate destinies are intractably linked with one another. The tale is much more of an existential mind-trip in the vein of the Wachowskis’ The Matrix than their more recent, pulpier fare.
Word from the Oscar-winner (and former Catwoman :-P) Berry is that she expects to begin work on Cloud Atlas in Summer 2011. She alluded to the involvement of Hanks and Portman – whose name seems to come up with every other in-development project nowadays – but made no mention of McAvoy. Production on X-Men: First Class (which stars the 31 year-old McAvoy as a young Professor Xavier) is currently underway, so it may be a while before he confirms or denies his being in for Cloud Atlas.
Tom Tykwer penned the Cloud Atlas screenplay and was seemingly set to helm the adaptation, but now it seems the Wachowskis’ may tackle both producing and directing duties on the pic. Cloud Atlas would mark a significant departure for the carpenters-turned-filmmakers siblings, who have worked behind the camera on F/X-heavy action pics and comic book fare before, but will have to tone things down for the big screen adaptation of Mitchell’s philosophical meditation.
Tykwer was responsible for directing the Groundhog Day-esque thriller Run, Lola, Run, and collaborated with Portman on the “Faubourg Saint-Denis” segment of Paris, Je T’Aime. Both of those works dealt with human relationships in an unorthodox, semi-experimental fashion, so it’s difficult to argue that Cloud Atlas isn’t right up Tykwer’s alley as a filmmaker.
We’d like to see the Wachowskis move away from the big-budget spectacle and over-the-top action that was at the forefront of their Matrix sequels in particular, and place more of an emphasis on crafting thought-provoking fare, a la the original Matrix or their Noir flick, Bound. Cloud Atlas sounds like a move in that direction – do you want to see the Wachowskis at the helm?
We’ll keep you posted on the development of Cloud Atlas.