As early as last summer, we heard that Tom Hanks would star in an adaptation of David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas. Then there was confusion over who would be writing and directing: The Wachowski Siblings and/or Tom Tykwer. In January, Natalie Portman—who was also rumored to co-star—said that the Wachowskis and Tykwer were directing together. Today, we have confirmation on both facts with Deadline reporting that Hanks will star and that the Wachowskis and Tykwer will write and direct the movie.
Portman also said she had a small role in the film, but there’s currently no confirmation that she’s on board at this point. We’re also awaiting confirmation on whether or not James McAvoy and Halle Berry will be in the film, which is scheduled to begin shooting in September. Hit the jump for more on the project including a synopsis of the novel.
Hanks is currently filming on Stephen Daldry’s adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. He’s also attached to star in a film based on Somali pirate hostage Captain Richard Phillips, an adaptation of the Disney ride Jungle Cruise with Tim Allen, and Kathryn Bigelow’s Triple Frontier. Triple Frontier is also reportedly set to shoot in the fall so I’m left wondering if Hanks has left that project or if there’s room in his schedule to do both films.
Here’s a synopsis of David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas:
A reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded journalist in Governor Reagan’s California; a vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified “dinery server” on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific Islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilisation — the narrators of Cloud Atlas hear each other’s echoes down the corridor of history, and their destinies are changed in ways great and small.
In his captivating third novel, David Mitchell erases the boundaries of language, genre and time to offer a meditation on humanity’s dangerous will to power, and where it may lead us.