The Wachowski siblings racked up plenty of firsts while making their new movie Cloud Atlas, out Oct. 26. The new time-jumping drama — starring Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, and Hugh Grant — is the first movie of the decade for the pair, who became some of Hollywood’s most respected and elusive filmmakers after the success of the Matrix trilogy. Cloud Atlas is their first crack at adapting a novel and working with a codirector, German auteur Tom Tykwer, who wrote and shot the epic film with them. And as plenty of sites including our own have already pointed out, it’s also the first time the siblings are credited as Andy and Lana, rather than Andy and Larry. Lana identifies as female and made her first public appearance in a promotional Cloud Atlas interview, sporting a neon hairstyle reminiscent of Franke Potente in Tykwer’s 1998 hit Run Lola Run. “We’re brother and sister,” says Andy Wachowski, who talked to EW alongside Lana and Tykwer for our Fall Movie Preview (on stands now). “It’s different in the way people perceive it and the way that the media perceives it. But the set is our set, and we run it like we always run it.” Read ahead to see what else the trio had to say about their Cloud Atlas collaboration.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How did you three meet?
TOM TYKWER: In 2002, I heard the Wachowskis were still looking for music for the last two parts of the [Matrix] trilogy. I’m also a musician, so I was like, “Hey, would you want a music track? Why don’t we meet?”
LANA WACHOWSKI: We sent him flowers after dinner because we were so excited to talk to him about movies. It was love at first sight. So we were looking for a project [together] at the exact time that Cloud Atlas fell into our laps.
Are you alike as directors?
TYKWER: All three of us have an affection for touching subjects that have a certain abstract dimension.
LANA WACHOWSKI: Run Lola Run was the first movie in quite a long time where I walked out, bought another ticket, and I walked back in.
You share writing and directing credits on Cloud Atlas but shot the movie with two separate crews. How did you split up your duties?
LANA WACHOWSKI: We wrote every line together. We planned the shoot together, did the schedule together, and cut every single frame together. And whenever we could shoot together, we did.
Andy and Lana, this is the first time you’ve worked together as Andy and Lana instead of Andy and Larry. Was there any difference for you?
ANDY WACHOWSKI: We’re brother and sister. I mean, it’s different in the way people perceive it. But the set is our set, and we run it like we always run it.
LANA WACHOWSKI: Andy has always been my best friend in the world, and we just have a good time when we’re hanging out making things up. That’s always been the same.
For more about Cloud Atlas from the Wachowskis and Tykwer — plus exclusive scoop about all this fall’s biggest movies — pick up a copy of EW’s Fall Movie Preview, on stands now.