Natalie on Cloud Atlas?

Now this is some great news to wake up to. Slashfilm is reporting that Natalie might be involved in an adaptation of the book, Cloud Atlas, which is one of the most highly regarded novels of recent years. Tom Tykwer, who directed Natalie’s short film in True, is set to direct with the Warchowski Brothers possibly producing. It’s funny, about a month ago I was planning to do an article about the top 10 directors I would like Natalie to work with and Tykwer would have definitely made that list. I’d love to see her do a feature with him.

I’m going to see if I can get some confirmation on this rumour. Till then, click the Slashfilm link above or click on for the full story.

FirstShowing has word that The International director Tom Tykwer is adapting the David Mitchell novel titled Cloud Atlas for The Wachowski Brothers. Written in 2004, the novel went on to win the British Book Awards Literary Fiction Award and the Richard & Judy Book of the Year award.

The book is comprised of six seperate but loosely connected stories that take us from the remote South Pacific in the nineteenth century to the far future after a nuclear apocalypse. Each tale is told from the point of view from the the main character in the next. It’s unclear if Tykwer is focusing on one, a couple or all of the stories. I cant imagine that a film adaptation would feature all six stories as the narrative would become too episodic. And each story is a vastly different genre than the next, spanning post-apocalyptic sci-fi to modern comedy. The author has said that the book’s theme is predacity — individuals prey on individuals, groups on groups, nations on nations.

Funny thing, I received an email tip a few months ago that claimed that Natalie Portman was somehow involved in a big screen adaptation of Cloud Atlas, but I wrote it off as unsubstantiated false info. But now that Alex has uncovered that Tykwer is adapting the novel for The Wachowskis, I’ve been doing some research and there seems to be a few connections.

“There was also a book I read, which we all ended up reading, called Cloud Atlas, that was pretty formative to my ideas about violence because it has this story of the Moriori tribe in it. They were this non- violent New Zealand tribe that thought that if you committed violent acts your soul will be tainted, and you would become an outcast in their society. So the Europeans came and now they no longer exist [laughs]. The problem with non-violence is if you have violent neighbors, you cease to exist which is sort of like violence to yourself. That helped me to understand violence, because that self-defensive violence is one that I can understand as a human being, but that can be extended to such a large thing. If you think that you would defend your family from a threat, or you’re a president, and your country’s your family, what if the threat is perceived rather than real? All of these things posed questions that you could talk about for a lifetime, and never really come to solid conclusions.”

So is Portman involved as a producer or star? This is all just speculation at this point. Tykwer has a great visual style. I’m a big fan of his earlier work like Run Lola Run, The Princess and the Warrior, and Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, but I’ve heard The International is a less interesting Bourne-lite. And while there is no indication that Tykwer would direct the project, it seems very unlikely that The Wachowski Brothers would have asked one of their favorite directors to do some some for-hire screenwriting work.