Grant joins cast, trio added to co-production team
Hugh Grant has joined the cast of $100 million “Cloud Atlas,” with Hong Kong’s Media Asia Group, China’s Dreams of the Dragon Pictures and Singapore’s Ascension Pictures added to the team of co-producers.The directing trio — Andy and Lana Wachowski and Tom Tykwer — start shooting the indie feature on Friday. Pic stars Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Ben Whishaw, Susan Sarandon, Keith David, David Gyasi, Zhou Xun and Doona Bae. Adapted from David Mitchell’s novel, the epic weaves six stories across multiple time periods and countries, as one soul is shaped from a murderer into a savior, with the stars reportedly playing several different parts. Filming will take place simultaneously with two full units in Scotland, Spain and Germany. Pic is produced by Grant Hill and Stefan Arndt of Germany’s X Filme, which has German-speaking rights. Warner Bros. is distributing in North America, with Focus Features Intl. handling international sales. Media Asia Group, Dreams of the Dragon Pictures and Ascension Pictures have taken equity stakes and will distribute the film in their respective territories. Russia’s A Company is also a co-producer and will distribute across Russia and Eastern Europe. Rights for Japan, France, the U.K. and Australia have been held back by the producers and will be sold as filming progresses. Like the Wachowski siblings’ previous films “Speed Racer” and “V for Vendetta,” the project tapped heavily into German subsidies, receiving a record-breaking €14.55 million ($20 million) from federal and regional funds.