Cloud Atlas trailer

Here is a teaser of what the Wachowskis are doing with Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell's 2004 challenging and immersive novel of nested stories that span the world and several centuries back and forward in time. The movie Cloud Atlas will be in theaters October 26.


  1. Well I’m stunned – after reading the book I was convinced it would be un-filmable (sp?) but it looks like they’ve managed it. Can’t wait.

  2. Sounds like a neat Buddhist epic. Never heard of the book, but I think i’ll check it out now.

  3. “From the directors of PERFUME and SPEED RACER…”

    Chances are the critics will want this to flop hard, and chances are they will get their way.

    On the other hand, the reason we have cinema is so that people can do something utterly, gloriously ridiculous as this.

  4. So how long is this movie going to be?

    also, kind of reminds me of a weird babel / the fountain mashup.  I mean this in a good way.

    1. with a pinch of “the time traveler’s wife” and a nice even glaze of “2046” over the whole thing!

    2. The Fountain is my all time favorite movie and this is the first I’m hearing about this movie and it certainly has me interested.

  5. Finally some real sci fi in theathers.  Promethius just didnt do it for me this year.

    1. Prometheus was just another bug hunt with gore. I should have played Marathon instead of watching that.

      1. “I went to the butchers the other day and the butcher said ‘I bet you £5 you can’t guess the weight of that meat on the top shelf’. ‘ I’m not gambling!’ I said, ‘The steaks are too high!’/timvine

  6. If the Wachowskis’ last few movies are any indication, I’m probably going to love this, and take a lot of crap from people over it.

  7. It looks like they might have almost pulled it off. My worry after watching the trailer is that they appear to have taken much that was implicit in the book and made it explicit. I’m not sure how much of that is using voice over to cram in more information, or what appears to be significant change in the Frobisher section aimed at making some of the themes easier to catch. Obviously, changes must be made for an adaptation, but it looks like there’s a whole lot of “here’s what’s going on, do you follow, let me explain it to you again” in the movie.

  8. There are four shots in the trailer of actors smoking. When this happens, I often wonder if the filmmaker also smokes and is trying to normalize aberrant behaviour by depicting it in the movie.  This is not a character trait that should be on display unless the consequences are being addressed, and there’s no indication of that here. Hollywood’s love affair with smoking seems to never end no matter how destructive we know it to be.

    1. Yeah, you’re probably right.  Aberrant behavior shouldn’t be depicted in film unless it’s in the form of pedantic moralism.  People shouldn’t smoke unless they then get cancer, they shouldn’t eat a hamburger unless they then get heart attack, they shouldn’t swear unless they corrupt a child, and they shouldn’t have sex unless one of them gets unintentionally pregnant and/or gets AIDS.

      Except, oh yeah… movies like that suck, and if that’s how movies were, nobody would see them.  Film is meant to capture and comment on the human condition.  Some humans smoke.  Depicting it doesn’t necessarily glamorize it; it just makes the cinematic universe more real.

      1. Requiem for a Dream was all about drugs and how bad they are and I thought it was a pretty good movie.

        -I realize the reply was on the sarcastic side, but there isn’t much if anything positive in that movie and it was still good.

    2. I look forward to the day when you are finally recognized for your wisdom and are put, rightfully, in charge. Then you will be able to protect us all from our own ignorance, misbehaviour, and filthy little perverse desires.

  9. I am really quite astonished that they haven’t gone back to milk The Matrix yet.  There’s money to be made!  What’s taking them so long?

    1. Well… its been almost long enough for a Matrix reboot (more than long enough in Marvel movie terms).
      I hear Justin Beiber is acting now…. If they dyed his hair black and taught him how to say “Whoa” convincingly, some producer(s) would pay to make him Neo 2.0.

  10. Just trying to understand why we keep making the same mistakes, over and over.

    (The Matrix Reloaded)
    (The Matrix Revolutions)
    (Speed Racer)

  11. I had to stop watching this trailer. Anyone who enjoyed the novel should be dismayed that it has been reduced to a coloring book, complete with dialogue bubbles in bold-face type. The narration was almost entirely “on the nose,” as they say in Hollywood, as if they spent the entire production terrified that viewers wouldn’t get it, so they’ve spent their time explaining the concept instead of letting you figure it out.

    Not a chance in hell I will see this.

  12. I’ve read the book, though it was a long time ago, and loved it.

    However, this trailer seems fragmented, confusing, and doesn’t remind me of any of the scenes from the book.

    I give it a solid ‘meh.’

  13. Is it just me, or is the “Asian” prosthetic makeup on Jim Sturgess distracting — if not insulting?

    (Or does he play a character who disguises himself as Asian using a drugstore Halloween costume? I haven’t read the book.)

    1. It’s just you. Only Asian Americans would be offended by something like this. This film is going to be huge in Korea, though, and no one there would be insulted by his make-up.

      I really hate when people get offended by something like this. Why would it be insulting for a man to dress up like an Asian in a non-derogatory role, especially when the purpose is showing a character reanimated? Unless you think that Asians are hideously disfigured, handicapped individuals, and we can’t explore the way they look without “making fun of them”, then what’s the problem?

  14. So, for those of you who’ve read the book and seen the trailer, is it something where I should read the book first, or something where I really shouldn’t?  Having re-read Dune before seeing the movie, I’m guessing that I should put off reading Cloud Atlas and see the movie first?

    1. The book is awesome. The trailer is intriguing. Personally, I think the odds are the movie will not be as awesome as the book so reading the book first is likely to detract from the movie. That said, I’d rather have an awesome book make an OK movie disappointing than watch an OK movie and not realize how disappointing it was. Also, being that asshole who walks out of the theater saying, “the book was so much better” is a great way to motivate the ignorant to read books.

    2. It’s an exciting and beautiful book full of fascinating things folded together like a sweet literary jelly roll. Heck of a writer, what what.

  15. I’m afraid it will be bloody long, and I hate long movies, just like Aki Kaurismäki. Anyway I’ll give it a chance.

    I really recommend the commentary too, AFAIK it’s the first public video of Lana Wachowski (formerly known as Larry) in drag:

      1. I quote this from him frequently: “a film should never run longer than 90 minutes”.

        My tolerance is around 2 hours in case of more epic pieces, which were often overshot in the old times and getting longer nowadays too (even getting cut into several parts since Kill Bill).

        I will be surprised if they can keep this below 3 hours.

    1. Lana Wachowski is NOT in drag. She identifies as female, lives as a woman, and has taken a woman’s name. In other words, she’s a woman. To refer to her wearing women’s clothing as being in drag is inaccurate, and a little insulting.

  16. Wow.  Seriously.  Wow.  Was this trailer cut in the last 20 years?  I’ve not read the book much less heard of it and from the trailer only have a cursory idea of the plot (hence my ‘when was this trailer cut’ comment…) but this spot makes me want to see this tomorrow.  Can’t wait to see the outcome of this and hope it’s as good as its pedigree says it should be.

    1.  Man you’re right though. I can’t stand trailers anymore. They’re cut to appeal to meth-addled fuckwits.

      I liked this trailer because I really liked what was on display, but I didn’t realize that it also didn’t have the normal trailer bullshit like ridiculous loud-quiet cycles with snarky inserted dialogue, bowel-vacating low-bass snarls and total plot giveaways. Every time I go to the theater wanting to see trailers I leave hating them. It’s rare that a trailer is actually appealing.

    1. I thought the same: it’s a 5 minute trailer and I still have no idea what’s actually happening. Which is fantastic. I have to say: I hated everything they did after Matrix I, but this seems to be good!

  17. before I think too much about the trailer, I will read the book for sure… as a dad, I insist that my kids read any book prior to seeing the movie (currently my teen is part way through The Hobbit).  Immersing your imagination with the faces & voices of those cast to somehow recreate a complex, epic story can only serve to detract one’s ability to truly appreciate it in retrospect.  Kids (and adults, too) shouldn’t always have the characters present in their minds just because they’ve already seen a trailer / teaser and / or the movie first.  On another note, knowing nothing about this book, am I the only one who thought of love & hope prevailing as the characters of “Lost” rediscovered each other after Desmond’s machinations in the last few episodes?

  18. One more thing… lol, as I heard (and appended in my imagination)  “…there’s a natural order to this world, and those who try to upend it do not fare well, Mr. Anderson!”

  19. In confirmation of the phenomenon wherein emotional memories are stored separately from intellectual ones, I remember that I immensely enjoyed Cloud Atlas when I read it. But I remember nothing of what I read, even (especially?) when watching the trailer. The only thing that rang a very muffled bell was Song-Me – not the name, but a feeling of empathy for the character…

    I’ll see the movie, for sure…

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