Behold the first beautiful trailer for the incredibly ambitious Cloud Atlas. Directed in teams by both Tom Tykwer and the Wachowskis, this big-screen adaptation of David Mitchell's novel jumps from century to century, with the same actors playing different characters — but they're all connected. Leap from the 1850s to the post-apocalyptic future.

Update: Video now in HD.

Here's the synopsis from the book:

A reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded journalist in Governor Reagan's California; a vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified "dinery server" on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific Islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilisation — the narrators of Cloud Atlas hear each other's echoes down the corridor of history, and their destinies are changed in ways great and small.

In his captivating third novel, David Mitchell erases the boundaries of language, genre and time to offer a meditation on humanity's dangerous will to power, and where it may lead us.

And here's a newly added "director's commentary":

And in case you wanted even more, here's a collection of stills from the trailer. The version of Tom Hanks in the tribal future world is actually pretty terrifying. Plus we can't wait to see the android story of Sonmi-451 play out on screen. Cloud Atlas will debut at the Toronto International Film Festival, and then hit theaters worldwide on October 26th.

[via Apple Trailers]