Director Tom Tykwer has big casting ambitions

Director Tom Tykwer has asked Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, James McAvoy and Sir Ian McKellen to star in his latest film, Cloud Atlas.

The adaptation of the award-winning novel by British author David Mitchell is being produced by the Wachowski Brothers, the pair behind the Matrix trilogy, and directed by Tykwer, whose credits include Run Lola, Run and Perfume.

The novel is a complex series of six post-modern stories, spanning a number of genres and subjects, including post-apocalyptic sci-fi and 19th century exploration.

Actress Natalie Portman is rumoured to have already signed on to appear in the film.