Cate Blanchett, Rose Byrne Surface In First Full Trailer For The Turning

You thought Cloud Atlas was ambitious? Feast your eyes on the first full trailer for The Turning, a big-screen adaptation of Australian author Tim Winton’s anthology that employs more than 17 directors and virtually every name-brand Aussie actor for a sprawling project that hopes to find its way to theaters later this year.

The novel, released in 2005, has multiple interweaving plotlines that generally center around a central protagonist named Vic Lang. Again, it reminds me very much of Cloud Atlas, which attempted to weave together – thematically, if not always narratively – storylines that intersected at unexpected points. The Turning was adapted for the stage at the 2008 Perth International Arts Festival. Something tells me it will be a little easier to connect the dots using film, which allows storytellers to cheat in ways live theater doesn’t permit.

Says The Turning producer Robert Connolly to Australia’s Sunrise TV:

"We came upon this idea of extending a personal invitation to seventeen great creative minds to interpret one chapter each and asking them if any of the stories particularly spoke to them, affected or resonated with them.”

They heard back from several interested filmmakers. The breakdown of participating directors, and the chapters they’ll tackle from Winton’s book, are as follows (according to IMDB):

Jonathan auf der Heide, FogTony Ayres, CockleshellJub Clerc, AbbreviationRobert Connolly, AquiferShaun Gladwell, FamilyRhys Graham, Small MerciesJustin Kurzel, Boner McPharlin's MollYaron Lifschitz, ImmunityAnthony Lucas, Damaged GoodsClaire McCarthy, The TurningIan Meadows, DefenderAshlee Page, On Her KneesStephen Page, SandSimon Stone, ReunionWarwick Thornton, Big WorldMarieka Walsh, Ash WednesdayMia Wasikowska, Long, Clear ViewDavid Wenham, Commission

Note that Stoker actress Mia Wasikowska makes her directorial debut with this movie. And the cast list is equally impressive. Rose Byrne, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving and Miranda Otto lead a massive ensemble in an effort to recollect the stories in Winton’s book. There were rumors, a while back, that Blanchett also would be helming one of the shorts. That doesn't seem to be the case, though I wonder if she contributed behind the scenes to the segment in which she stars?

The film already has been screened in Australia (at the Melbourne International Film Festival), and will open Down Under on Sept. 26. Twitch posted one of the first reviews, saying "this ambitiously sky-high work deserves respect and recognition, fusing literature and film fiction effortlessly amidst a flurry of endearing talent." The film’s still seeking distribution in the States. The official poster is below. We’re more than intrigued by the concept, and can’t wait to see the execution. What are your thoughts on The Turning? Have you read it? Do you think it can be adapted? Will it work as a film? Let us know.

The Turning Poster

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.