This isn’t exactly breaking news anymore, what with Tom Hanks crashing the party last month, but things seem to be moving forward – for reals – on the film version of David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas. This week, it was announced that Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon, and Jim Broadbent would be joining Hanks and Hugo Weaving (and perhaps Natalie Portman?) in the film, crushing any fading hopes that it would remain as well-wrought and ground-breaking as the novel. That’s right, I don’t like it.
I can kinda get on board with Tom Hanks – he’s a classy guy – and Susan Sarandon is great (except for the whole maybe-cheating-on-Tim Robbins-thing) but Halle Berry? The rumor has gone further in that she may play “Meronym” from the “Sloosha’s Crossin'” section – a post-apocalyptic future where people speak a garbled, pidgin English that I imagine her delivering like Ben Stiller’s “Simple Jack,” if you know what I m-m-m-mean. But I digress. Some stupid part of me had always hoped that the necessary ensemble cast for the film – even with the Wachowskis attached to it – would be comprised of unknown actors, or at least not Big-Timers like Hanks & Portman. Now there’re way too many A-listers (or B, I guess) attached to it for my taste.
I have further problems, really, with the production team of the Wachowskis. (Formerly known as the “Wachowski brothers” until Larry became “Lana” a few years back. Seriously.) They have created one original, notable work – the original Matrix film – and have utterly failed to deliver on everything else they’ve gotten their hands on since then. The other two Matrix movies, Speed Racer, V For Vendetta… uh… did I mention Larry’s now a girl? ‘Cause that’s all they got. It scares me that these uninspired, bloated-budget, high-gloss clowns are making what is perhaps my favorite book of the 21st century into a film. More rumors have the film’s budget ballooning up over $140 million already – which could be good or bad, depending on whether that cash is going to production value or cast salaries. (Speed Racer cost $120 mil & the 2 shitty Matrix sequels, $237. FYI.) The one saving grace here may actually be director Tom Tykwer, who wrote Run Lola Run & the film adaptation of Patrick Süskind’s Perfume, which wasn’t half bad. Can he overpower the brother/sister combo of crap, though?
One last thing: Natalie Portman told Entertainment Weekly a few months ago that she read Cloud Atlas while she “was doing V For Vendetta and (then) gave it to the Wachowskis and to Tom Tykwer.” So, obviously, she’s dead to me.
Ah shit, I’m sorry, I should keep an open mind on this. It’s not like I won’t be there on opening night. I mean, c’mon.