Remember back in November when Halle Berry indicated that the Wachowskis’ next directorial effort would be an adaptation of David Mitchell’s intricately complex novel, Cloud Atlas? Of course you do.

Now the word is out that Andy and Lana Wachowski will helm the project in collaboration with Run, Lola, Run director (as well as Cloud Atlas screenwriter) Tom Tykwer and that Natalie Portman is indeed onboard for the pic – once it attains the necessary financing, that is.

Amidst the hoopla surrounding Natalie Portman debunking rumors of her involvement with Superman/Dark Knight Rises, the actress also gave Entertainment Weekly a bit of information about Cloud Atlas – a project that she’s been linked to since last fall. According to Portman, both the Wachowskis and Tykwer (who directed her in the “Faubourg Saint-Denis” section of Paris, Je T’Aime) originally approached her about starring in the adaptation some five years ago, when she was working on V For Vendetta.

Portman revealed that the plan is for the trio to direct the film together, but that her role would “probably [be] nothing major.” While confirming her involvement, Berry alluded to Tom Hanks being likely to star in Cloud Atlas as well – which leaves both old Magneto from the X-Men trilogy (Ian McKellen) and young Charles Xavier from X-Men: First Class (James McAvoy) as the only actors who were previously rumored to be onboard for the Wachowskis’ new flick, but remain unconfirmed.

Berry, Portman, and Hanks are up for 'Cloud Atlas'.

Cloud Atlas very much has what could be referred to as a kaleidoscopic plot structure, composed of five separate narratives that involve a 19th century clerk on a sea voyage to Polynesia; a wannabe composer; a 20th century journalist who investigates a nuclear power plant; a publisher who gets ahold of what could be a revolution-sparking novel; and a human clone produced for slave labor in a dystopian future.

Those storylines all revolve around a sixth narrative thread that is composed of an oral history (readers, think World War Z) for a post-apocalyptic island. All of these tales are separated by the barriers of time and space, yet each one addresses such universal themes relating to humanity’s tendency to enslave its own kind and willingness to rewrite its past to fit the approval of those in power. Needless to say, the decision to turn Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas into a motion picture is an ambitious one on the Wackowskis and Tykwer’s part.

Last month, the Wachowskis also signed on to write and direct Hood, a contemporary retelling of the Robin Hood legend. That project has much better commercial prospects than Cloud Atlas and seems more likely to make its way into theaters long before the siblings take a crack at translating Mitchell’s enigmatic literary work into cinema.

We’ll keep you posted on Cloud Atlas as its journey to the big screen continues.

Source: Entertainment Weekly (via The Playlist)