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Netflix Chief Says 4-Hour Cut Of ‘Cloud Atlas’ “Will Blow You Away”; Wachowskis Doubt They’ll Get Big Studio Budgets Again

Netflix Chief Says 4-Hour Cut Of 'Cloud Atlas' "Will Blow You Away"; Wachowskis Doubt They'll Get Big Studio Budgets Again

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Even though the following quote appeared before “Jupiter Ascendingmassively tanked last weekend, perhaps the Wachowskis had already seen the writing on the wall. Their latest cinematic effort reportedly cost well over $175 million, which is franchise money for studios these days, but the duo were using it to spin a tale about a space man-dog, a Russian janitor princess, and something involving Soylent Green. Critics largely savaged it, audiences were disinterested, and the Wachowskis realize that may have been their last time playing with a couple hundred million dollars on the studio level for a while.

“Everyone says, ‘Why can’t you be simpler?’ We’re drawn toward difficult subjects, like the disparity of rich and poor,” Lana Wachowski told The Wall Street Journal last month. “We’ve been lucky. People at studios have been interested in our crazy, strange brand of complexity. And we’ve been allowed to keep making them. Will that continue? Probably not.”
“But it was a good run,” Andy added.

But luckily for the siblings, they’ve found a believer in Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos, who is backing the duo’s upcoming new series “Sense8.” It’s another big, ambitious, globe-spanning offering from the Wachowskis, spawned from their distinct and unique imaginations (along with “Babylon 5” creator J. Michael Straczynski), and Sarandos believes the episodic format will serve them better than trying to fit their vision into a traditional cinematic box. And his evidence? Apparently, he has seen an extended version of the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer‘s “Cloud Atlas,” the duo’s previous expensive, underperforming effort.

“It’s the best four hours of anything we’ve done,” Sarandos teased about “Sense8” (via Deadline). “Their film reviews have been brutal, and everything after ‘The Matrix‘ didn’t go well, but if you look at the earlier cuts of their films before they had to jam them down to 120 minutes, it’s amazing. There’s a four-hour cut of ‘Cloud Atlas’ that will blow you away.” 

That bit of info is probably huge news to fans and defenders of “Cloud Atlas” but…where is it? Start your petition to Warner Bros. now, but don’t hold your breath. Spending their money on the Wachowskis is probably the last thing they want to do at the moment, but maybe Netflix can somehow make it available? We’ll see. But “Sense8” sounds like the kind of project fans of the Wachowskis have been waiting for since “The Matrix.”

“From a budget standpoint and a running time, it’s every bit as big, if not bigger, than their feature films,” Sarandos said, with a source telling Deadline: “Who knows if they’ll ever direct a film again? They might have found their niche with episodic drama.”

“Sense8” arrives on Netflix in May. 

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"Cloud Atlas" is pretty brilliant four-hour cut or no.


Jonathan is right: CLOUD ATLAS is a fantastic film whether it gets an extended cut or not.


Cloud Atlas is really underrated by most critics. I bet the 4hours cut makes up a bit for its flaws.


Cloud Atlas was great- but couldn’t understand the dialogue…. thank god for subtitles


Cloud Atlas tried the audience’ patience. Dread to think about a four hour version.


Yeah Cloud Atlas was treated unfairly, the film landscape is so narrow and conservative it’s easy to savage anything adventurous that aims for something out of the box. Feels like The audience has become a narrow mass that dismisses anything that forces it somewhere it’s unused to, and too often it’s those parameters that decree a work a failure.


I love Cloud Atlas and a four hour cut on Netflix would do the film justice. I enjoy Jupiter Ascending and perhaps Netflix is in the future for the projects that the Wachowski’s love to make.


jupiter ascending was a mess. it was one overlong mighty mouse episode. i loved the action but the screenplay and mila kunis’s acting left a lot to be desired. the script was in dire need of a rewrite or some doctoring to tighten up the lame bits. ex: "i love dogs" and the toilet cleaning at the end. cloud atlas should have been a 4-6 episode hbo series, imo.


I loved CLOUD ATLAS at three hours, and surprisingly didn’t feel anything from the novel was missing. I’d be fascinated to see a four hour cut, bring it on Netflix!


Remember who your audience is.. It might have been a mistake to make a movie that contradicts the Christian creation myth.


I liked Cloud Atlas and I am someone who gets bored pretty easily. And I saw it twice.


Cloud Atlas was superb. I think they need to have better names. Jupiter ascending and cloud Atlas are not mainstream enough. And it doesn’t spark any curiosity like the matrix does. I blame the names of their movies for their demise because they are all excellent movies… But I have not seen Jupiter rising


It should be: "…audiences were uninterested…"


Cloud Atlas is incredible, and I am really really curious to see a four hour cut. I hope we somehow get to see it.

Chris Lambert

I love Speed Racer as exploration of what inspires an artist to reach their potential. I love Cloud Atlas and the exploration of consequences over time. The only thing I’m not big on is Matrix Revolutions. Even the title of that…Revolutions? But everything else!


Seriously? Ofcourse Jupiter Ascending bombed, it was a scifi movie for women. Those things don’t mix well, at evidenced by actual events.

Cloud Atlas is just a scifi movie and a great one at that. I can’t wait for the 4h cut.


Cloud Atlas could have been great. I could see so much potential in nearly every scene, but nearly every scene failed miserably to capitalize on its potential. If an extended cut ever surfaces then I’ll check it out, but I don’t see how it could fix one of the greatest faults – that the acting is abysmal from all involved.


Cloud Atlas was a swing and a miss for me. The ending felt like it was supposed to be profound, but was undermined by something i couldn’t quite place. I imagine the extra scenes would have really tied it together, but then again a good director should be able to tell their story in less than 4 hours without giving up the impact.


lmao cloud atlas was crap. nothings gonna svae that hunk of junk


I believe you mean "uninterested" not "disinterested" in the first paragraph.


I would love to see the four hour cut! Netflix screen this! =)


Want this four hour cut, start the petition!


So many people i showed Cloud Atlas to said the same thing. "I can’t understand what they’re saying." What is wrong with your brains people? "Swap you a query for a query." "fair buy." …Wow! What could they possibly be saying to each other??????? i don’t know? I don’t really like thinking while a watch the idiot box


I really enjoyed cloud atlas. Eye candy for sure. A slice of life, or several of them. You have to watch it a few times to take it all in.


The Wachowski duo need to make a "simple" movie like Bound again.

Ryan B

I would love to see a 4 hour version of cloud atlas. It’s one of those films I can watch repeatedly. An epic deserving of an epic cut.


Cloud Atlas is very underrated, it is a outstanding movie regardless of whatever its length be


The dialogues in Cloud Atlas were not meant to be understood. They were allowing the viewer a chance to digest the dramatic and chaotic scenes prior. The film is a masterpiece if given a chance and not dissected according to traditional/popular films. Would love to check out the extended cut and anything else the Wachowski’s have to offer.


If M. Night Shyamalan can still get funding after so many dog’s breakfasts then why not the Wachowskis?


Yes! I LOVED Cloud Atlas. Seemed to me people just "didn’t get it" and therefor thought it was crap. Very disappointing. I would love to see a four hour cut of it.


I’m sorry…Not having read the book, I had no freaking idea what the heck was going on in Cloud Atlas. It’s OK if "reading the book" is a prerequisite for the movie, but maybe make that clear going in…

Ray (@RaySquirrel)

Once I heard they were adapting Cloud Atlas I was hoping that they could just film each story straight and release them as is on the special edition DVD. The same thing Robert Rodriguez did with Frank Miller’s Sin City. Perhaps Criterion would be willing to release the 4-hour cut on DVD and Blu-Ray.

Ray B

I think the problem stems from after the Matrix, they tried to make a LOTR trilogy and failed, because they tried to stretch out a thin plot thiner. I mean come on 10 minute dance club shot? If they focused on tight story telling than big complex budget for big budget sake they would be good. They have been great at doing things different. I haven’t written them off yet, unlike M. Knight.


Cloud Atlas was amazing. didn’t know it was theirs. :0

Ray (@RaySquirrel)

Ray B (does that make me Ray A?) the think with sequels to The Matrix is that the Wachowskis made a series of animated shorts ("The Animatrix") and a video game tie-in ("Enter the Matrix") which told stories which tie into the movies. This was an interesting experiment (it inspired the book "Convergence Culture" by Henery Jenkins) though this left many viewers who did not play the game or watch the anime shorts without vital information. The scene where the Kid tells Neo that he "saved him" that is in "The Animatrix". The scene where Niobe says she spoke with the Oracle, that is in the video game. The 10 minute nightclub shootout, that has a parallel scene in the video game. I’ve made a personal project out of making two, two-hour edits of the films including the scenes from the anime and the video game.


Cloud Atlas was simply one of the most amazing movies I have ever seen. And I would love to see the 4 hours cut they cut!!!


It may have received negative press, and not have made the bucks, but it has to be noted that a movie receiving over thirty comments, over a year since it’s release is a mark to be reckoned with.




Also loved Cloud Atlas and really wish the longer cut will pop up one day.


I would love to see a 4-hour cut of Cloud Atlas, I’m still kicking myself for missing it in theaters. I don’t watch the film too often but when I do, I’m always blown away.

Tom Siebert

I would pay about $25 to see a 4-hour cut of "Cloud Atlas." Flawed, yes, but brilliant overall and it made me cry with joy at the end. You have to applaud the Wachowskis ambition.


I liked Cloud Atlas.

Tiny Muha

I would LOVE to see a 4-hour cut of Cloud Atlas. Can’t wait for Sense8.


I would immediately buy a bluray 4 hour cut of cloud Atlas. Great movie.


If that extended cut of Cloud Atlas ever sees the light of day, I will pay for it immediately.

clammer from the east-end

cloud atlas was pure junk wrapped in imaginary synchronicity


I believe the 120 feature format has been dead for many years. With the advent of the home theater and streaming media, the distribution format has finally caught up with the scale of the concept and production that technology now allows and many producers embrace. And the financial models are getting in line too thanks to NetFlix. Welcome to the future! The Wachowskis and Straczynski have been there for years. I remember Hour 25.

Eric M. Van

I’m with those who think the existing cut of Cloud Atlas is a masterpiece; the reason it got such a mixed reaction was that, quite literally, only certain types of brains are neurologically equipped to handle the rapid intercutting of six stories. I’d kill for a 4-hour version. Straczynski, meanwhile, is the auteur behind the best science fiction in the history of TV; I couldn’t be more psyched for Sense8.


Where’s the petition? Anyone start one? I’ll gladly sign! Cloud Atlas was pure beauty it does take a few watches to wrap your mind around, but it’s SO worth it. It got better to me each time I watched after the theater & it’s now one of my favorite movies & yup books!


I’m going to have to agree with everyone else here. Cloud Atlas is a masterpiece.
I had to watch it twice to understand it, and I had to search around a bit, but now that I do, I realize how good the movie was.

I can’t wait for the four-hour cut, assuming someone releases it.


I’m going to have to agree with everyone else here. Cloud Atlas is a masterpiece.
I had to watch it twice to understand it, and I had to search around a bit, but now that I do, I realize how good the movie was.

I can’t wait for the four-hour cut, assuming someone releases it.

Allison Alberts

Cloud Atlas is an amazing movie and should have been a huge hit. Still my favorite movie ever.


One thing I would like to mention is that the common comment that Jupiter Ascending tanked is 100% wrong. It made a $7+ million profit, I know thats not the amount the studios like, however movies that have actually tanked or bombed did not make back at least the cost to make a movie. Thanks to China, Japan, and other foreign countries JA did make back the costs to make and promote the film. That said after watching Sense8 I do believe that TV may be the best medium for the Washowski siblings.

Reality Check Laffs

Let’s see. Jupiter Ascending made $183 and cost $176 million. That must be the $7 million you’re referring to? Well, let’s add real world grown up math to that. Lets add a conservative $60 million to market it worldwide (though it prolly cost $60 million to just market in North America). That’s a cost of $236 million. Now in the real world you basically split profit with theaters 50/50. So that’s $118 million against a $176 million cost. Also $47 million domestic for a big blockbuster is pretty pathetic. "100% wrong," lol.

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