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Hugh Grant Joins Cloud Atlas Ensemble

The adaptation starts shooting this week

As anyone who's read David Mitchell's magnificent Cloud Atlas will tell you, it's not a novel that lends itself obviously to being adapted on the big screen. "Unconventionally-structured" doesn't quite do it justice, with its interlinking narratives telling the story of one soul across several centuries, from 19th century boat journeys across the Pacific to a post-apocalyptic distant future (in Hawaii).

But with Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy somehow successfully bringing a very complicated novel to our local multiplexes, perhaps we shouldn't cock too crooked an eyebrow – especially with Hugh Grant taking his place on the increasingly long cast list in a period role that'll hopefully harken back to his turns in the likes of Sense And Sensibility rather than, say, Did You Hear About the Morgans**?**

The independently-financed production will also boast such acting talent as Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Ben Whishaw, Keith David, David Gyas and Susan Sarandon, with Chinese actress Zhou Xun and Doona Bae from Korea joining the fun too.

As we say, it's got one hell of a cast list. Then there's the unusual number of directors – three, to be precise – with the brothers Wachowski teaming up with Tom Tykwer of Run Lola Run and Perfume fame. They also wrote the adaptation, by the way. Bloody show-offs.

Taking a leaf out of World War Z's book, Scotland will be one of the settings, with shooting beginning in Glasgow at the end of this week.

Bar any unforeseen problems with unexpected Glaswegian zombies, Cloud Atlas will be in your local cinema by late 2012.