We’ve mentioned this previously (first announced back in June 2010, almost a year ago, on the old S&A site), but it had mostly been unconfirmed, with much speculation as to who was attached, and it/when it’ll produced, etc.

At the times, Halle Berry had reportedly been offered a role in what appeared (and still appears) to be an epic of a movie adaptation based on the David Mitchell novel title Cloud Atlas, to be written and directed by Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run), and produced by The Wachowskis.

Also rumored to be offered roles were Tom Hanks, Natalie Portman and Ian McKellen.

Since then, some of those rumors have been confirmed, like, both Halle Berry and Tom Hanks are definitely in the ensemble cast of what is said to be a the $100 million film! Other names officially attached include Hugo Weaving and Ben Whishaw. No confirmations yet on Portman and McKellan. By most accounts, this is shaping up to be one hell of a project, given the cast involved and the men and women behind the camera. Lots of talent here.

More cast are expected to be announced soon, because, THR just reported that shooting is on schedule to begin this fall, with BOTH The Wachowski siblings and Tykwer sharing writing and directing duties, not splitting the work up as initially announced. Interesting… my guess is that since there are 6 separate story strands, each might be written and directed by one of the 3 of them.

The story? As detailed previously, the story “weaves history, science, suspense, humor and pathos through six separate but loosely related narratives“… and… “Each of the narratives is set in a different time and place“… “from Melvillean high-seas drama to California noir and dystopian fantasy“… “each is written in a different prose style, each is broken off mid-action and brought to conclusion in the second half of the book“…

There are 6 main characters within those 6 individual narratives, and they include, “a naïve clerk on a nineteenth-century Polynesian voyage; an aspiring composer who insinuates himself into the home of a syphilitic genius; a journalist investigating a nuclear plant; a publisher with a dangerous best-seller on his hands; and a cloned human being created for slave labor. These five stories are bisected and arranged around a sixth, the oral history of a post-apocalyptic island…

No word yet on which actors will play what characters; but Halle is certainly in very good company.

I picked up a copy of the novel soon after reading the news of the film adaptation. I still haven’t read it yet – at least not entirely. It’s really dense, and I just haven’t been able to return to it since I first picked it up, favoring film-specific books to read mostly, in the last year. But I’ll have to move it back to the top of my to-read list, so that I can finish it and post one of my book-to-film entries.

Tom Tykwer has apparently been working on the screenplay since late 2008/early 2009, when it was initially announced.

Stay tuned…