I had never heard of David Mitchell's 2004 novel Cloud Atlas until a couple of years ago, when my friend Jess brought it to my attention, insisting I read it immediately. I guess I wasn't in the proper frame of mind back then, because I never made it through the first chapter and the book got swallowed up by my to-read pile.
I'm going to give Cloud Atlas another shot now that director Tom Tykwer has revealed he is collaborating on a film adaptation of the book alongside the Matrix brothers Larry and Andy Wachowski.
Tykwer has already proven himself capable of adapting seemingly unfilmable books - I was a big fan of Perfume: The Story of a Murderer - and I like the idea of the Wachowskis tackling someone else's material. Their last few original screenplays have been lacking, but they remain bold and imaginative filmmakers. They just need good source material.
Tykwer's latest film, The International, opens Friday and it's a more conventional type of conspiracy thriller, easily the most commercial film he's made since his 1998 breakthrough hit Run Lola Run. I'm guessing Tykwer made it to pay the bills in between more ethereal projects like Heaven, which I acknowledge has some serious flaws, but still find mesmerizing.
The International does boast the best prolongued shoot-out sequence I've seen in a movie in years. It's a real corker, and further proof of Tykwer's inventiveness as a filmmaker. Tykwer is also supposedly developing Dave Eggers' novel What is the What as a TV miniseries, which makes me wonder whatever happened to the movie based on Eggers' A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius that was making the studio rounds in 2002.