It’s been over a decade since the Wachowski’s (then still known as The Wachowski Brothers) wowed movie audiences with The Matrix. In that time they’ve released two sequels that met with mixed reactions (I liked em, but they didn’t live up to the potential of the first one) and an adaptation of Speed Racer which have failed to capture the hearts and minds of film audiences in quite the same way. It looks like that’s all about to change this October when they release Cloud Atlas, an adaptation of David Mitchell’s Booker Prize Winning Novel which has been co-directed for the screen by Tom Tykwer of Run Lola Run fame.
As an unexpected surprise, a lengthy six minute trailer for the film landed across the web along with commentary from Tykwer and the Wachowski’s. Watch it below as many times as you need to take it all in.
I have only the vaguest idea of what’s going on, but I want to know more. I need to know more. I’m genuinely more excited by this than I was when I first saw a trailer for The Matrix. The idea of a movie telling multiple stories across time and possibly parallel universes is too intriguing to to contain my sci-fi nerdy glee. Hearing that it was hard to get a green light for the project because it’s too complicated gives me a nerd boner.
Cloud Atlas is something that I was kinda sketchy about for two reasons, partly because the high concept sounded dicey as a big budget flick and also because I was much more excited by the mysterious Cobal Nuetral 9 which was described as a futuristic documentary about the Iraq war that included a gay love story and Jesse Ventura as an extraterrestrial alien. As far as I can tell that project has fallen into movie limbo, but I hope that’s not the case. If anyone knows anything, please tell me in the comments section.
Having a 6 minute trailer as the first peak at a project is a rather bold and unconventional move to say the very least. However, as the directors wisely pointed out, the movie really does need something like that to set it up. A great stable of actors including Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Sturgess, Hugo Weaving, Susan Sarandon, Hugh Grant and Keith David among others (as well as a bunch of unfamiliar faces) are shown in a bunch of different time periods and lives with recurrent themes and moments coming up again and again. Hanks and Berry seem to meet and fall in love at least twice for instance. Karma is obviously gonna play a role in this, and not just because the directors said so. The hints at our crimes and kindness creating our future definitely sets the tone for the kind of themes that are likely to be explored here. The story seems to have a sweeping scope from the distant past to the far future with quite a few stops in between.
When I first heard of this project, just knowing that the Wachowski’s are involved grabbed my interest. Seeing this trailer has me sold on buying at least two or three tickets so that I can pump maximum funds (in a broke ass college student kinda way) into showing my support for this. Seriously, if you haven’t watched the trailer yet, watch it now. If you have, watch it again. It’s that damn good.