In addition to Tom Hanks, "Cloud Atlas" will star Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving and Ben Whishaw.
Focus CEO James Schamus made the announcement at a buyers-only presentation at Cannes' Olympia Cinema in which Schamus moderated a panel of the project's three directors -- Andy and Lana Wachowski, and Tom Tykwer -- as they presented their vision for the project.
"Cloud Atlas" is a massive production (more than $100 million) based on the very large novel (528 pages) by David Mitchell. And it's a plot that defies easy summary. Here's how Focus positions it:
CLOUD ATLAS is 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.
Grant Hill and Stefan Arndt are producing; Philip Lee is executive producer.
The film will start shooting in September. Warner Bros. will release the movie in North America; Focus International is selling foreign rights.