Tom Cruise has signed to star in Universal’s Oblivion, the passion project of Tron: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski.
Cruise has loosely been attached to lead the $100 million project, a dystopian sci-fi thriller set on a bleak, post-apocalyptic Earth when civilization lives above the clouds and the surface is plagued by alien scavengers. According to Deadline, he officially signed for an October shoot.
Cruise will play a soldier stuck alone on the surface repairing attack drones, until the discovery of a beautiful woman “forces him to question his world view.” It sounds kind of like Wall-E…
Disney gave Kosinski his first shot at directing a feature after a Tron sizzle reel wowed audiences at Comic-Con, so he took Oblivion to Disney first, who picked it up last summer before realizing a bleak sci-fi film doesn’t quite fit with its family-friendly image. Instead, Universal acquired the rights to the now PG-13 adaptation, based on a graphic novel Kosinski brought to Radical Publishing circa 2005 as a means to prove the concept. (See some of the graphic novel’s art here.)
William Monahan (The Departed) wrote the adapted screenplay and Karl Gajdusek (“Dead Like Me”) will give it a polish. The graphic novel hits shelves in August.
Cruise was also attached to Universal and Guillermo del Toro’s $150 million movie At the Mountains of Madness when the filmmaker was trying to get his own passion project off the ground. When the studio balked at the price tag, del Toro left to make Pacific Rim and Universal apparently found something else for Cruise. The star was mentioned for Rim, but it seems Charlie Hunnam landed the role instead.