The Wachkowskis and Tom Tykwer have been hammering away at Cloud Atlas for what seems like ages. It’s a vast and intriguing project, but it’s hard to keep up the interest when Halle Barry may take a role in it, and maybe Ian McKellen and James McAvoy and…

The perils of modern movie news.  But at least today there’s actually a solid casting item.

According to Deadline, Tom Hanks has signed on to star in Cloud Atlas.  It’s not clear what role he plays — and I haven’t read the book, but I know it’s a series of interlocking stories.  There’s no main character, exactly.

The official logline for the film doesn’t help: “An epic story of humankind in which the actions and consequences of our lives impact one another throughout the past, present and future as one soul is shaped from a murderer into a savior and a single act of kindness ripples out for centuries to inspire a revolution.”

Will Hanks be the single soul?  Maybe.  I’m anxious to see this one come together, probably more now that Hanks is on board. He has never tackled sci-fi before, and certainly nothing like this.   It’s a refreshing change from his usual dramedy or historical picks.

The Wachkowskis and Tykwer are now officially listed as co-directors.  Given the nature of the story (or stories), this seems inevitable.   It’s a daring project.  I can’t wait to see what comes of it.