Cloud Atlas Adds More Cast, But Will This Succeed On Screen?

Cloud Atlas Adds More Cast, But Will This Succeed On Screen?

May 12, 2011

The good news is that the adaptation of David Mitchell's epic novel Cloud Atlas is shaping up to have quite the cast, with The Hollywood Reporter telling us that Ben Whinshaw and Hugo Weaving have joined a cast that already includes Tom Hanks and Halle Berry. Furthermore, The Playlist tells us (via ScreenDaily) that Susan Sarandon and Jim Broadbent are also in talks for roles. This is in addition to the already-announced filmmakers tackling the ambitious project: Andy and Lana Wachowski (The Matrix trilogy) and Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run, The International).

Now for the bad news: How in the world are they going to turn this into one standalone movie and not sacrifice a ton from the book? At a little over 500 pages, Cloud Atlas isn't the largest book ever adapted, but its six stories -- all of which have your standard beginning, middle and end and take place in different time periods -- really make this a difficult novel to adapt.

One interesting note from the THR article is that the actors will play multiple roles in the film, which helps them keep, say, Tom Hanks, in a great majority of the movie instead of only a few scenes. Cool concept, but will that confuse people even more? Plus, that still doesn't explain how they plan to condense each story so that it makes sense and adds value to the emotional arc of the movie as a whole. Curiosity and anticipation, yes, but a lot of unanswered questions at this time.

Slashfilm pieced together a really informative description of the book, story by story, as well as which character each actor may take on, in case you're interested in diving in further. In the meantime, I'd suggest picking up the book and reading it prior to the movie coming out for obvious reasons.

For those who've read Cloud Atlas, which story are you most looking forward to seeing on the big screen? For me it's a toss up between Sloosha’s Crossin’ an’ Ev’rythin’ After and An Orison of Sonmi-451.

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