You might’ve heard by now that filmmaker Larry Wachowski, one half of the siblings who made “The Matrix” trilogy, is now known as Lana Wachowski. She underwent gender reassignment surgery in 2009, not long after their last movie “Speed Racer” came out. “Cloud Atlas” will mark the first film in which she will be credited as Lana. It’s a bit surreal, but as long as the film’s good, I don’t care what they call themselves.
Today, The Hollywood Reporter spoke to star Hugo Weaving about the upcoming sci-fi epic, and he revealed that its themes of rebirth and transformation are something very close to his director’s heart, for obvious reasons.
Weaving said: “The movie explores the idea of being reborn and souls being reborn through time. I can’t speak for Lana, but it’s something that’s always interested her, and obviously at a very profound level. But it was a real treat to work with such an extraordinary cast, and sometimes in any one week you might be working on three or four characters. So it’s a slightly dangerous adventure we embarked on, because to be honest you don’t know where it’s all heading, despite the wonderful preparation. But yeah, it was certainly very exciting.”
The film is based on a novel by David Mitchell. Weaving elaborated: “What’s fascinating about the adaptation of the book was that sense that you get in the book about souls being reborn, a particular soul, and then they thought, ‘What if we bring back actors to multiple roles in these stories?’ So to take that idea and run with it actually kind of became one of the key propellers for the project.”
He continued: “Because the film’s told in a sort of mosaic way, where all six stories are told at once, at the beginning of the shoot you’d move from one character to another. But as the shoot progressed and it got towards the end, you were seeing more links between the characters. And indeed, there might be a cut from one of your characters to another character, so there’s a link between them. You’re fulfilling a particular role, so the six characters I play have a similar thematic arc, similar role to play, and as the film progresses, you get a strong sense of playing one [character] rather than six separate ones. So initially you’re feeling the separateness of the characters but increasingly feeling like they’re facets of the same being.”
“Cloud Atlas” also stars Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, and Jim Broadbent, each playing multiple roles (sometimes unrecognisably) in different locations and time periods. The film premieres 26t October in America and early 2013 elsewhere.