The “two bodies, one brain” of Lana and Andy Wachowski, creators of The Matrix and co-directors, with Tom Tykwer, of the new film Cloud Atlas:
“Since Costa Rica, the Wachowskis and Tykwer had viewed the dramatic trajectory of the script as an evolution from the sinister avarice of Dr. Goose to the essential decency of Zachry, with both characters embodying something of the Everyman. Tom Hanks, they agreed, was the ‘ultimate Everyman of our age.’ ‘Our Jimmy Stewart,’ Lana called him. They sent their script to Hanks, and he agreed to meet with them. On the way to his office in Santa Monica, the siblings received a phone call from their agent, who told them that Warner Bros. had decided to hold off on a distribution deal. ‘Cloud Atlas’ had been subjected to an economic-modelling process and the numbers had come back too low. The template that had been used, according to the Wachowskis, was Darren Aronofsky’s ‘The Fountain’ (2006), because it had three autonomous story lines set in different eras; ‘The Fountain,’ which had a mixed critical response, had lost almost twenty million dollars.
“‘The problem with market-driven art-making is that movies are green-lit based on past movies,’ Lana told me. ‘So, as nature abhors a vacuum, the system abhors originality. Originality cannot be economically modelled.’ The template for ‘The Matrix,’ the Wachowskis recalled, had been ‘Johnny Mnemonic,’ a 1995 Keanu Reeves flop.”