Cloud Atlas film due late 2012
After much rumour, David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas is set to appear as a film late this year
A film of David Mitchell's wonderous, multi-strand bestseller Cloud Atlas has been rumoured almost since its publication nine years ago, but finally it's going to see the light of day.
Tom Tykwer (Perfume) and the Wachowski siblings (The Matrix trilogy) are directing the film, with an estimated budget of $100,000,000 to play with (according to IMDB) and a confirmed US release date from Warner Bros of 26 of October 2012. The studio has also acquired the rights to distribute the film in the UK, France, Spain, Australia and Japan, but the UK will not see the film until early 2013.
The story features six storylines set in different time periods, following different characters, where all the events seem to interlace, moving first forwards in time, then backwards again, taking in: a young laweyer on a Pacific island in 1850; a British composer and lover in 1931; a journalist in 1970s California uncovering a conspiracy; an ageing publisher in the 1980s; a futuristic clone called Sonmi-451 who is about to be executed; and a Pacific tribesman after the fall of civilisation. On its release, A.S. Byatt called the book "a complete narrative pleasure that is rare".
The film will features an all-star cast, including Tom Hanks, Susan Sarandon, Hugh Grant, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Jim Broadbent and Perfume's Ben Whishaw. It's been rated R in the US, which suggests that the darker sides of Mitchell's novel may not be scrimped on.
In 2010, David Mitchell told Ed Wood (then at Books Quarterly, now editor of We Love This Book), about the Wachowskis’ script: “They wrote a very good screenplay of it, but it’s also massive, about three and half hours,” said Mitchell. “At that length you have to get people of such magnitude that the studios are happy to put in lots of money. But I ask to be informed on a need to know basis only. It’s an active possible. The film world is snakes and ladders, with rather more snakes than ladders.”