Cloud Atlas News and Rumors; Key Man Stills

Note: This is an archived entry that’s several years old. While I have ensured that all photos are restored, some links may no longer work. If you encounter any dead links, let me know and I’ll try to find a copy of the material. Some entries may not be up to my current standards as far as photo source and other credits are concerned; if you are a photographer or writer of a piece that lacks appropriate acknowledgement, please let me know and I’ll be happy to add source info.

I’ve been compiling reviews and other stories covering Oranges and Sunshine’s US release and Hamptons International Film Festival debut this past week; now, suddenly, there is a flurry of Cloud Atlas items, some confirmed some still speculative, but intriguing enough to share. I’ll start with the Cloud Atlas material because it includes the latest Hugo pic (this time not in character), and a few tidbits about directions Cloud Atlas might be taking.

Several German-language news sites, including and LVZ Online, report that a cohort of Cloud Atlas cast members and production crew, including Hugo Weaving, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant and director Lana Wachowski, took a “working vacation” in the “spa town” Bad Schandau recently. included some photos of the actors and their hotel guestbook inscriptions, Hugo’s included. Tom Hanks was spotted at many tourist attractions in the area during the same period, so one can assume he’s also been involved in any filming that took place. The articles suggest the trip included some location work, but was mostly a well-needed break for the actors. I can only provide a shaky translation, but Hugo was said to be “so impressed by the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, that he promised to come back”, and his comments below echo the sentiment.

Hugo poses with the Hotel Elbresidenz barman, Andreas

…and signs the guestbook

Some additional pics of Hugo at Studio Babelsberg back on August 30 have surfaced at the German photo site isopix ; apologies for the intrusive watermarks, but I thought them still worth a look:

'Cloud Atlas' film set, Potsdam-Babelsberg, Germany - 30 Aug 2011 Rex1c

'Cloud Atlas' film set, Potsdam-Babelsberg, Germany - 30 Aug 2011 Rex5c

'Cloud Atlas' film set, Potsdam-Babelsberg, Germany - 30 Aug 2011 Rex3c

'Cloud Atlas' film set, Potsdam-Babelsberg, Germany - 30 Aug 2011 Rex2c

'Cloud Atlas' film set, Potsdam-Babelsberg, Germany - 30 Aug 2011 Rex4c

These were probably taken at around the same time as these previously-seen images:

An interesting, but so far uncorroborated rumor surfaced on the James D’Arcy Forum this week, namely that Hugo will be playing the female character Nurse Noakes in the Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish segment of Cloud Atlas. I can’t find any official comments on this info yet, but they seem to have plausible information on three characters D’Arcy will be playing (including Rufus Sixsmith in the Frobisher storyline and The Archivist in the Sonmi-451 section), and Ben Whishaw (who’ll be playing D’Arcy’s love interest in one story) 😉 confirmed cross-gender casting, so this is in the “plausible but unconfirmed” category for now. Hugo’s only confirmed character thusfar is Bill Smoke in the Half Lives (Luisa Rey) plotline.

Also hot on the rumor mill but officially unconfirmed: that Tom Cruise will play a “robot repairman” in the Sonmi story. No word on whether they’ll make him wear a fat suit or not. 😉 The BBFC has posted some production info on Cloud Atlas, including the fact that they’re aiming for a 180-minute running time. So, while the film still won’t be as complex as the novel, it will defy the Hollywood convention that films should run two hours or less. Finally, as far as Cloud Atlas updates go, the project has raised enough interest and studio confidence to secure the Wachowskis financing for their next project, a sci-fi epic called Jupiter Ascending. No casting or plot details about that project have been released yet.

Hugo’s film Oranges and Sunshine, costarring Emily Watson and David Wenham, opened in the US this Friday to mostly-positive reviews after receiving standing ovations at the Hamptons International Film Festival. Director Jim Loach and author Margaret Humphreys (the inspiration for Emily Watson’s character in the film) attended the festival and other preview screenings and held Q&A sessions between October 15 and 21; since this entry is already fairly long I’ll reserve my material on the film’s US reception for the next entry, which I’ll try to have up in the next day or two. I’ll post my own review of the film on my personal LJ once it’s completed, but I do encourage fans to see the film in a cinema if it’s at all possible. It’s Hugo’s finest work since Last Ride, and would almost certainly earn him (and Emily Watson) Oscar nominations in a fair universe (ie one where films were nominated on merit rather than based on Academy politics, promotional budgets and celebrity campaigning.) 😉

Finally, though we have no DVD release date for Hugo’s long-lost 2006 film The Key Man (which finally premiered this February at SXSW), Occupant Films did share a few new production stills on their Facebook page:

…And, if you can’t get enough of Hugo with 70s hair, here’s another pic from the Glasgow street filming last month:

(photo: Stuart Wallace)

Oranges and Sunshine update soon! 🙂

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