Cloud Atlas, the often-deemed unfilmable novel by David Mitchell that spans several times and places from 19th Century Australia to post-apocalyptic Hawaii, will be filmed by two separate crews running parallel to each other, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The historic sci-fi epic, starring Halle Berry, Tom Hanks and Ben Whishaw to name a few, was penned by Wachowski siblings Andy and Lana and will be directed by Tom Tykwer. In an interesting attempt to make this difficult text come to life Tykwer is expected to use the same actors for multiple characters and use two entirely separate film crews to shoot scenes in both Berlin and Babelsberg, Germany.

The sheer span and complexity of the novel makes for an eye-watering prospect. It will mix 19th century period with futuristic sci-fi, interlocking six lives across a vast narrative. Producer Stefan Ardnt has confidence in the Wachowski script, however, saying they have “found a way to tell these stories in an amazing, linear and very cinematic way”. Let’s hope so, because Cloud Atlas could be very exciting indeed.

Story by Richard Parkin