The "Cloud Atlas" trailer; or, a heartbreaking work of staggering genius?
That's mixing author metaphors -- "Cloud Atlas" was penned by David Mitchell; "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius" is Dave Eggers -- but, still: As directed by Andy and Lana Wachowski (the "Matrix" trilogy) and Tom Tykwer ("Run Lola Run"), the film adaptation of "Cloud Atlas" looks like one of the most ambitious, massive, messy, emotional and downright fascinating movies of 2012.
Starring Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, Jim Sturgess, Ben Whishaw, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving and more, "Cloud Atlas" tells six separate stories that span the lengths of time and place -- from an American traveling back home by ship after a sojourn in New Zealand in 1850 to a post-apocalyptic tribesman (Hanks) living in the remnants of what was Hawaii in the distant future. (All of the actors play multiple parts.)
The adaptation reportedly runs over 165 minutes -- that's around the length of "The Dark Knight Rises," for what it's worth -- and is set for release on Oct. 26. Before that, "Cloud Atlas" will debut at the Toronto International Film Festival. It marks the first film for the Wachowskis since "Speed Racer" in 2008. (The directors explain why there was such a gap in their resume in an introduction they filmed for the trailer with Tykwer over at Apple.)