We're drawing in on Cannes, and all that entails: from red-carpet superstars to yacht parties; from The Official Selection to Parallel Sections; and onwards to the busy marketplace, where films already made, being made and yet to be made are sold.
One of the "yet to be mades" in the catalogue this year is to be an adaptation of David Mitchell's novel, Cloud Atlas. For some time we've been hearing that it would somehow be a collaboration between Andy and Lana Wachowski, directors of The Matrix trilogy, and Tom Tykwer, most beloved for Run Lola Run. Deadline have now confirmed that all three parties will be involved in writing and directing the film, and that shooting is scheduled to begin in September.
What's more, they say that Tom Hanks is still attached to appear, months after he first came on board. They don't say anything about James McAvoy, Hugo Weaving or Halle Berry, all of them previously associated to some extent or another.
Here's the blurb on Cloud Atlas from Mitchell's official site:
From David Mitchell, the Booker Prize nominee, award-winning writer and one of the featured authors in Granta's "Best of Young British Novelists 2003″ issue, comes his highly anticipated third novel, a work of mind-bending imagination and scope.
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.
Am. Bish. Ous.
Mitchell's actually pulled it off, but the very sophisticated book looks to me like something of a bear trap for the Wachowskis and Tykwer. I hope they've got the smarts to reinvent it in a way that will work as a movie, but I fear that they might instead value fidelity to the original literary work and fail to create equivalent conceits in cinematic form.
If the workload is shared three chapters apiece, I hope the directors alternate, back and forth from Wachowski-vision to Tykwer-style, and not just corral up the Wachowskis in the later, science-fictioner sections because "that's what they do".