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Wachowskis start casting Cloud Atlas

Although they are currently working on Cobalt Neural 9 , casting details have started to emerge regarding the Wachowski's next film, an adaptation of David Mitchell's (not that David Mitchell) novel, Cloud Atlas.

The novel is set in several different times and places, and each chapter centres around a different character (although each one has a comet-shaped birthmark...)

James McAvoy is in talks to play Adam Ewing, an American lawyer, crossing the Pacific in 1850, while Tom Hanks has been offered the role of Dr. Henry Goose, a surgeon to London's elite, and a passing acquaintance of Ewing.

Ian McKellen is circling the part of Timothy Cavendish, a London vanity publisher in the 1980s, who's trapped in an old people's home near Hull.

Halle Berry is reportedly considering the role of Meronym, a survivor in a post-apocalyptic future, while Natalie Portman could be playing the part of Somni 451, a cloned slave rebelling against society in a dystopian vision of Korea.

At the moment of course, these are just offers, and in most cases, the actors are very busy- McAvoy is currently shooting X-Men: First Class , Hanks was recently offered a role in Kathryn Bigelow's latest, Sleeping Dogs , possibly starring alongside Johnny Depp, while McKellen is still set to reprise his role as Gandalf in The Hobbit .

Still, this sounds interesting to us; after the tremendously unsubtle, candy-cane joyride/ car-crash of Speed Racer , we're intrigued to see how the Wachowski's fare with quieter, more thoughtful material. And, with a cast like this, we could be in for something quite special.