The Premise is: Six stories set in a different time and place become intricately related to each other.
Warner Bros. heads have reportedly approved the directors’ hefty final cut of the film – which clocks in at about 2 hours and 44 minutes. Moreover, the studio has tentative plans to release Cloud Atlas in theaters on December 6th, 2012, so as to qualify the prestigious picture for this year’s Oscars.
As reported by Indiewire, Warner Bros. originally passed on Cloud Atlas after balking at the projected $170 million price tag. (Due partly to memories of Speed Racer, no doubt.) Thereafter, the Wachowskis and Tykwer managed to collect the necessary funding to move forward from overseas financiers – somewhere in the order of $101 million – and snagged a great cast that includes A-listers like Tom Hanks, who gave up his customary $20 million + salary to help lower costs.
Speaking of the Cloud Atlas cast: big names such as Hanks, Susan Sarandon, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Keith David, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Grant, Jim Sturges and Ben Whishaw are all tackling multiple roles in the film. The logic behind this unorthodox maneuver is to better reflect the theme of interconnectivity across time, space, and even ethnicity, as featured through the six separate narrative threads found in Mitchell’s original book (and now, this film adaptation). Hence, we will get to see someone like Grant play multiple characters – varying from a 19th-century gentlemen to a futuristic cannibal dwelling in the Hawaiian mountaintops.