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September 13, 2011


Lana Wachowski

Wachowskis and Arianna Huffington

Some articles floating around today about Hugh Grant joining the cast of the movie adaptation of Cloud Atlas highlight an interesting bit of Hollywood gender confusion: what to call Larry Wachowski, erstwhile Wachowski Brother, now that he's become Lana Wachowski. On IMDb and everything.

That's Lana up there on the right with the adorably cartoonish fake pink dreads, next to her brother and, for some reason, Arianna Huffington. A lot of articles, including one by the trans-insensitive AP, refer to the directors of Cloud Atlas as "The Wachowski Brothers", the name they've used in credits of their other movies like The Matrix. Hollywood Reporter is one of the few publications I've seen today that just calls them Andy and Lana Wachowski.

Back in January of this year, the Wikipedia entry for "Wachowski Brothers" was redirected to "The Wachowskis" after what looks like several years of passionate, politically-charged debate over what to call them and how to refer to Larry/Lana. I'm glad we settled on that rather than the clunky Wachowski Siblings.

If Cloud Atlas is twice as good as Speed Racer, I'll gladly call them anything they want. German director Tom Tykwer is co-directing with the Wachowskis. If Cloud Atlas is half as good as Run Lola Run, I might start remembering his name, too.

I love the book, and I'm glad to see the adaptation is looking pretty great, and a little unconventional. The rest of the cast includes Susan Sarandon, Ben Wishaw, Jim Sturgess, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, and other people like Academy Award Winners Tom Hanks and Halle Berry who I guess will be OK. According to Ben Wishaw, the actors playing the main character in each of the 6 storylines that make up the book will also appear in smaller unexpected roles in the other storylines. For example, Wishaw plays three characters: a 1930's era pianist, an American woman in the '70's, and an extra in a nursing home in the 2000's.

About the movie's casting, Wishaw says, "Everybody's swapping race and gender, so it's very ambitious and quite fun. I'll really love playing a woman!"

Any guesses on whose idea that was?

categories: Books, Celebrities, Gender, Movies
posted by amy at 4:55 PM | #

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Cloud Atlas the movie? If the movie is 2 hours long, then each of the six stories can only be 20 minutes long. That barely seems like enough time to establish the different moods and get people to say funny things.

If Hugo Weaving plays the uptight guy in the mental hospital in the 2000s, that would be all kinds of awesome, however.

Posted by: T-Rock at September 15, 2011 10:36 AM

I took a look at the Wachowskis' other movies, and every single one is over 2 hours, some by a lot. With the exception of "Bound", which at a tight 108 minutes is one of only two of their movies that I think we can all agree are good.

Maybe the 6 stories will get a little over 20 minutes each, but I wonder how they'll do a story as complex as, say, the Luisa Rey segment, in even 30 minutes.

I bet there's going to be lots of cross-cutting between stories, characters will bleed together and Hugo Weaving will pop up everywhere, as they like to do. He might even get to wear some of Mitzi's lip liner.

Posted by: amy at September 15, 2011 11:45 AM

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