Cloud Atlas had a bumpy road to realization. Even with a signed cast that included Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, Hugo Weaving, Ben Whishaw, and Jim Broadbent, and a trio of visionary directors — Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run) teaming with Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski (The Matrix) — no one wanted to invest in the epic project, budgeted upwards of $100 million. What was the deal?
Viewing the trailer for the film (yes, the unimaginable team of talent eventually found the money!) sums up why potential backers may have been wary. Cloud Atlas looks like nothing we’ve seen before, the sweeping, six-minute spot bouncing back and forth between time periods without taking a breath. Based on the book by author David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas interlocks six stories that take place in various spans of human history: 1850, 1931, 1975, present day…and beyond. The actors in the film portray different characters in each segment, each one a reincarnation of their predecessor. The ambitious undertaking looks as grand as its themes of universal interconnectivity — Cloud Atlas may be the only movie that will ever figure out how to include 19th century ships, nuclear power plants, clones, and post-apocalyptic refugees into one movie.
Cloud Atlas almost didn’t happen, the end goal seeming too impossible to pull off. Judging from the trailer, the gamble on Tykwer and the Wachowskis may have been worth it. We’ll find out when the Cloud Atlas challenges our eyes and minds in theaters on October 26, 2012.
Head to Apple for the official trailer and an introduction from Tykwer and the Wachowskis on their approach to the innovative film.
Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches
[Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]