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Thursday September 8, 2011

Hollywood takes Mallorca by storm

Oh the excitement. As I walked into my local café, the owner grabbed my arm and thrust a Mallorcan newspaper into my hands. He pointed urgently at one of the headlines. Actors Tom Hanks, Halle -or “Hayay” according to my Mallorcan chums –Berry, Jim Broadbent and Susan Sarandon, would all soon be jetting off to the island for the making of the film Cloud Atlas. Of the four locations chosen for filming, our very own Soller port would feature high on the list.

Earlier this year, a section of Inbetweeners the movie, based on the popular television series, was filmed on the island much to the delight of some local teenage residents who were paid handsomely as extras. Now a major Hollywood blockbuster with an all star cast is set to follow and the Mallorcan Film Commission cannot believe its luck, hoping that the film might do for Mallorca what Lord of the Rings did for New Zealand. Although the island has enjoyed one of its best tourist seasons ever, the continuing promotion of its charms on the big screen globally will be welcomed by islanders as it steers through rocky economic waters.

Cloud Atlas, based on the third novel by English author, David Mitchell, is the story of six characters living in different eras from the 19th century to a post-apocalyptic future with all but one protagonist being the reincarnation of the same soul. This is an ambitious project for co-directors, Larry and Andy Wachowski, best known for the Matrix series, as an impressive array of special effects and imaginative sets will be needed to recreate the book’s varying locations from the South Pacific, to Belgium, the States, UK and Korea. Although shoots will be divided between Germany and Majorca, the rugged Tramuntana mountain regions of Sa Calobra, Formentor and Puig Major, have already been earmarked as likely locations for filming.

Meanwhile hoteliers are speculating as to where the stars will stay-although rumour has it that 180 hotel rooms have already been booked in Pollença in the north of the island-and residents are eagerly awaiting their chance to be star spotted for brief appearances in locally shot scenes. One thing is certain, the promotional value of having Cloud Atlas’s high profile cast on the island is likely to have the Balearic regional government on cloud nine.

First appeared in Expat Telegraph

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