Video: The complex threads of Cloud Atlas

Posted by CB Droege

Warner Bros. has posted a new trailer for its upcoming fantasy epic.

Cloud Atlas depicts the complex threads of a story spread across multiple centuries. It kicks off in the 19th century and runs up to the dystopian fall of civilization, with a complex tale that intertwines throughout the ages. 

This trailer is shorter than the previous one we recently saw, but is not a recut of the same footage. While that double-length trailer focused on the visuals, and high arcs of the film, this one takes a deeper look at the actual plot, which follows a pair of soul mates through a large chunk of human history:

The trailers make the film seem very complex, and even confusing, but I trust the Wachowski siblings to deliver here, and this much talent in one film is rather incredible. The budget, the visuals, the star-power, the sheer scope of the film… I really want this one to be good. I want it to be epic.

The synopsis of the film doesn’t tell us much more than this new trailer:

Cloud Atlas explores how the actions and consequences of individual lives impact one another throughout the past, the present and the future. Action, mystery and romance weave dramatically through the story as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero and a single act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution in the distant future. 

However, the synopsis for the original novel offers additional details about the characters and time periods. Of course, there is no knowing what may have been changed for the film:

A reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded journalist in Governor Reagan’s California; a vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified "dinery server" on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific Islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilization - the narrators of Cloud Atlas hear each other’s echoes down the corridor of history, and their destinies are changed in ways great and small.

Cloud Atlas stars Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, Susan Sarandon, Hugo Weaving, James D’Arcy, and Jim Sturgess. It’s directed by Tom Tykwer in addition to the Wachowskis. The film is slated to sail into theaters on October 26th, 2012.