Mitchell's novel was published in 2004 in England, where it was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize. Although "Cloud Atlas" seems nearly unfilmable, the crew assembled to create a movie version seems, by judging by the trailer, to be on the right track.
Its cast includes Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Jim Broadbent, Ben Whishaw, Bae Doona, David Gyasi, Keith David, James D'Arcy and Susan Sarandon.
The three-hour film has three directors: Tom Tykwer ("Run Lola Run") and Andy and Lana Wachowski ("The Matrix series"). The three sat together for an overlapping, joking interview posted yesterday on Yahoo. They talk about what they wanted from the film (just about everything) and what their experience had been with Mitchell.
"I was extremely nervous to meet David Mitchell after he read the script," Lana says. "But we all took an oath that if he didn't like it," Andy continues, "We would kill the project," Tykwer finishes. "Fortunately, he loved it," says Lana.
Before the trailer appeared online, "Cloud Atlas" had 225,000 paperback copies in print in the U.S. Now Mitchell can thank Twyker and the Wachowskis for making that 250,000.