We've already labeled it the most ambitious studio film of the year, and with its Toronto Film Festival premiere approaching (as well as its October 26 release date), we're beginning to hear and see more of Cloud Atlas. From an interview over at BadTaste.it with Monica Manganelli, who worked in the film's art department, comes this stunning piece of concept art depicting the future Korea as brought to life by Andy and Lana Wachowski, who adapted three of the six stories in the book , with this image coming from An Orison of Sonmi-451.
click image to enlarge
Based on David Mitchell's sprawling novel that spans centuries and follows six loosely connected stories, the adaptation was so massive it needed three directors (Andy and Lana Wachowski, plus Tom Tykwer) as well as many of its star-studded cast (Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Jim Sturgess, Hugo Weaving, Hugh Grant, Ben Whishaw and Doona Bae) to play multiple roles. The interview with Manganelli also reveals exactly which stories are being directed by the Wachowskis and Tykwer, with the breakdown looking like this:
Andy and Lana Wachowski
1. The Pacific Journal of Adam Ewing
2. An Orison of Sonmi-451
3. Sloosha's Crossin' an Ev'rythin After
1. Letters from Zedelghem
2. Half-Lives: The First Luisa Rey Mystery
3. The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish
For much more on each of these stories, check out our complete Beginner's Guide to Cloud Atlas, which should bring you up to speed.
In addition to the concept art come several early test-screening reactions that have been compiled by a number of sites. Slashfilm has a nice, balanced amount, with the overall vibe remaining positive. It seems, while lots of folks enjoyed it, more people responded to the fact that it's so different and bold and unlike anything the studios are putting out these days. That's refreshing to see, and hopefully enough folks will embrace that experience and see Cloud Atlas in theaters so that more studios are willing to take risks on projects like this in the future.
We'll leave you with one quote from an IMDb forum member that seems to sum up the film in a very "general audience" sort of way:
"This film is incredibly ambitious. The six stories are edited into one so there is little to no downtime during the film. The makeup and costumes will absolutely be nominated for Oscars while visual effects have a great chance as well because of how subtle and artistically done they are. This film is a bit goofy in ways. You have to be ok with Tom Hanks playing six different characters in the movie. You have to be ok with realistic stories being interlaced with far future stories. Self referential humor about absurd things. Overall our audience very much enjoyed the film. They gave it a decent round of applause at the end and it was pin drop quiet while everyone was filling out their opinion cards. I’m very interested to see how the public and critics enjoy it."