Cannes: Wachowskis, Tom Tykwer Talk ‘Cloud Atlas’ to Buyers

Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon to join Tom Hanks in epic sci-fi collaboration between trio of directors

In one of the most intriguing events of the 64th Cannes, the "Matrix" directors Andy and Lana Wachowski and "Run Lola Run" filmmaker Tom Tykwer told prospective buyers and exhibitors about their planned collaboration "Cloud Atlas," a centuries-spanning epic for which they are negotiating with Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon and Jim Broadbent to join the previously-announced Tom Hanks.

Wachowskis and Tom TykwerIt was a rare appearance for the publicity-shy Wachowskis – who used to be known as the Wachowski brothers, before the former Larry Wachowski began wearing women's clothes and using the name Lana.

The Wachowskis have only made one film, 2008's "Speed Racer," since the conclusion of the "Matrix" trilogy in 2003.

In front of a private audience of a few hundred at the Olympia Cinema, the three co-writers and co-directors spoke with Focus Features CEO James Schamus about the adaptation of British author David Mitchell's 2004 novel, which is currently in pre-production and is expected to begin shooting in September.

Mitchell's science-fiction book is made up of six interconnected stories, which range from the South Pacific in the 19th Century to California in the 1970s to a post-apocalyptic future.

Hugo Weaving and Ben Whishaw, the filmmakers said, are also in negotiations to join the cast.

Focus Features is handling international sales and distribution of "Cloud Atlas" at the Cannes marketplace.

(Left to right, above: James Schamus, Tom Tykwer, Lana Wachowski, Andy Wachowski. Photo by Nick Wall)