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The rumors about who might be cast in Cloud Atlas haven't lasted quite as long as the rumors about the project's very existence, but it sure seem that way. It was confirmed back in January that Andy and Lana Wachowski would be directing and writing the project along with Tom Tykwer, but since then we've only heard the tidbit that Tom Hanks would star, along with some rumors about Halle Berry and Natalie Portman joining in. But now, finally, some official news!

THR has learned over at Cannes that Hugo Weaving and Ben Whishaw will both play roles, and Halle Berry is in fact confirmed for a part. Each actor will play multiple roles in the film based on David Mitchell's sprawling novel, and not having read the book I have no idea even how to speculate how they'll all fit into the film together. Warner Bros. will release the film domestically and Focus Features selling the international rights as we speak; Weaving and Whishaw both being non-American actors may well help sell it. Weaving, of course, you'll know either as Agent Smith in The Matrix or in his soon-to-be-reprised role as Elrond in The Lord of the Rings. Whishaw was most recently seen by very, very few in Julie Taymor's The Tempest, but he also starred in Bright Star and in Perfume: Story of a Murderer for none other than Tom Tykwer.

With the cast firming up and shooting set to start in the fall it's time to get seriously interested in the project, the Wachowskis' first since Speed Racer and bound to be one of the more bizarre and ambitious we see in the coming years. Any fans of the novel out there want to speak up on what we should expect? Part of me wants to pick up the book in the meantime, and another part wants to be surprised and dazzled by what the Wachowskis and Tykwer come up with.