Hugo Weaving, Ben Whishaw Join 'Cloud Atlas' (Cannes Exclusive)

Hugo Weaving, Ben Whishaw - SPLIT - 2011
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Halle Berry also firms up role for project from filmmakers Andy and Lana Wachowski and Tom Tykwer.

Cannes buyers are buzzing about Ben Whishaw and Hugo Weaving taking on major roles in Cloud Atlas, the adaptation of the epic David Mitchell novel from filmmakers Andy and Lana Wachowski and Tom Tykwer. Halle Berry, who floated her possible participation late last year, has also firmed up her role.

They join Tom Hanks in the big-budget project, which Warner Bros. is releasing in North America and Focus International is selling at the Marche du Cannes. Weaving is familiar from the Wachowskis’ Matrix trilogy and V for Vendetta, and Whishaw had his big-screen debut in Tykwer’s Perfume: The Story of a Murderer in 2006.

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The Wachowskis and Tykwer are sharing writing and directing duties on the multistrand story. Filming will being in the fall.

Grant Hill and Stefan Arndt are producing the film with the Wachowskis under their new Five Drops label. Philip Lee will serve as executive producer.

Berlin-based A Co. recently joined the project as a co-producer and has picked up rights for Russia and Eastern Europe.

Mitchell's 2004 novel follows six story lines that include a 19th century American notary, a poor British musician in the 1930s, a journalist in 1970s California, a vanity press publisher in the early 21st century, a rebellious clone in the near future and a primitive Hawaiian tribesman surviving after the apocalypse. Each actor in the film will be playing multiple roles.

Repped by CAA and Hamilton Hodell in the U.K., Whishaw has recently appeared in The Tempest, Bright Star and The International.

Repped by Shanahan Management, Weaving recently appeared in The Wolfman and had voice roles in Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole and the Transformers films.