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Hugh Grant Joining the Impressive Cast of Wachowskis' 'Cloud Atlas'

by
September 13, 2011
Source: Screen Daily

Hugh Grant / Cloud Atlas

With a cast that already includes the likes of Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Ben Whishaw, Keith David, David Gyas and Susan Sarandon, you'd think that the Wachowski siblings and Tom Tykwer would be done rounding up talent for their adaptation of Cloud Atlas. However, Screen Daily has word that Hugh Grant is now signing on to join the big screen version of David Mitchell's complex novel of the same name. The project is certainly much more promising than his last big screen endeavor, the painfully generic romantic comedy Did You Hear About the Morgans?

Likely Grant will be taking on multiple roles like the rest of the cast as the story follows six plot threads across time—a 19th century notary on a Pacific expedition, a bisexual musician in the 1930s, a female journalist in a thriller in 1970s California, an aging publisher in London in the present, a clone in a futuristic dystopia, and a Pacific survivor in a post-apocalyptic world. What makes this even crazier is all these worlds fold in on themselves. Grant is certainly a welcome addition to this already impressive cast, and I just can't wait to see what the Wachowskis and Tykwer doing with such complex source material.

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  • Algren
    I wish Hugh Grant would do more movies. He is an underrated actor. He pigeonholed himself as an actor who just did romantic comedies rather than try to reach his full potential as an actor.
  • gambitmoon
    Great Britain's answer to Thomas Pynchon outdoes himself with this maddeningly intricate, improbably entertaining successor to Ghostwritten (2000) and Number9Dream (2002). Mitchell's latest consists of six narratives set in the historical and recent pasts and imagined futures, all interconnected whenever a later narrator encounters and absorbs the story that preceded his own. In the first, it's 1850 and American lawyer-adventurer Adam Ewing is exploring endangered primitive Pacific cultures (specifically, the Chatham Islands' native Moriori besieged by numerically superior Maori). In the second, "The Pacific Diary of Adam Ewing" falls (in 1931) into the hands of bisexual musician Robert Frobisher, who describes in letters to his collegiate lover Rufus Sixsmith his work as amanuensis to retired and blind Belgian composer Vivian Ayrs. Next, in 1975, sixtysomething Rufus is a nuclear scientist who opposes a powerful corporation's cover-up of the existence of an unsafe nuclear reactor: a story investigated by crusading reporter Luisa Rey. The fourth story (set in the 1980s) is Luisa's, told in a pulp potboiler submitted to vanity publisher Timothy Cavendish, who soon finds himself effectively imprisoned in a sinister old age home. Mitchell then moves to an indefinite future Korea, in which cloned "fabricants" serve as slaves to privileged "purebloods"--and fabricant Sonmi-451 enlists in a rebellion against her masters. The sixth story, told in its entirety before the novel doubles back and completes the preceding five (in reverse order), occurs in a farther future time, when Sonmi is a deity worshipped by peaceful "Valleymen"--one of whom, goatherd Zachry Bailey, relates the epic tale of his people's war with their oppressors, the murderous Kona tribe. Each of the six stories invents a world, and virtually invents a language to describe it, none more stunningly than does Zachry's narrative ("Sloosha's Crossin' and Ev'rythin' After"). Thus, in one of the most imaginative and rewarding novels in recent memory, the author unforgettably explores issues of exploitation, tyranny, slavery, and genocide. Sheer storytelling brilliance. Mitchell really is his generation's Pynchon. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

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