The Straits Times
Published on Jan 15, 2013

Cloud Atlas' film-makers wanted novelist's approval before adapting book


The Hollywood movie Cloud Atlas drawn from the best-selling book by David Mitchell is packed with stars in its cast, including Tom Hanks and Halle Berry. But it suffered somewhat on its United States release late last year, struggling to just US$25 million (S$31 million) at the box office.

Commentators say that the film's six interconnecting storylines spanning hundreds of years, near three-hour running time and R-rating, while a delight for film buffs, scared off mainstream audiences.

For Andy and Lana Wachowski, two of the film's three writer-directors, however, the concerns were less with box-office cash than with artistic expression. They and the third film-maker on the project, Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run, 1998), said they felt a close connection to the original material.

And they were unanimous in declaring that they would never have gone ahead with the film if their plan for it were not acceptable to Mitchell.