It's an amazing book. I can't imagine how they're going to adapt it. One need only read the cast list and watch the trailer to see that much effort and money has been invested in this film version. I look forward to seeing what they create.
I'm trying to think of other examples of films that range through history and interconnected stories. Other than Mel Brooks' spoof The History of the World, I can think of two. Both are films to which I return:
Being Human (starring Robin Williams)
The Red Violin
Can anyone think of another?