Wednesday, 23 January 2013

"Earth is a memory worth fighting for."

When I look at this poster it's almost impossible not to think of the work of science fiction artist Ralph McQuarrie. Probably best known for his ground breaking conceptual illustrations that helped shape the look of the original Star Wars films. Clearly director Joseph Kosinski has been heavily influenced also.

Having cut his teeth on TV commercials he made his big-screen directorial debut with the science fiction film Tron: Legacy (sequel to the 1982 film Tron) for Disney in 2009. His previous work has primarily been CGI related television commercials including the Starry Night commercial for Halo 3 and the award-winning Mad World commercial for Gears of War.

His next cinematic outing Oblivion sees Tom Cruise play Jack Harper, one of the last few drone repairmen stationed on Earth in the year 2073. Part of a massive operation to extract vital resources after decades of war with a terrifying threat known as the Scavs. Currently living in and patrolling floating cities thousands of feet above the Earth, his soaring existence is brought crashing down when he rescues an attractive female stranger from a downed spacecraft. Her arrival triggers a chain of events that forces him to question everything that he knows as he battles to save mankind.

Oblivion is Kosinski's own creation, adapted from the Radical Comics graphic novel he penned shortly after his move to Los Angeles in 2005. Disney had originally acquired the film rights in 2007 but insisted on a PG rating in line with their family-based reputation. Disney later released the rights to Universal Pictures (who had also bid for the original rights) and Kosinksi's PG-13 vision was finally authorised.

Originally written by William Monahan a rewrite of the script was carried out by Michael Arndt. Universal Studios were particularly appreciative of his script saying "It's one of the most beautiful scripts we’ve ever come across." It's also worth noting that Michael Arndt has been challenged with screenwriting Star Wars: Episode VII due for release in 2015.

At first glance Oblivion appears to be a cross between Wall•E and Silent Running but having watched this stunning trailer I'm both intrigued and optimistic. Starring alongside Tom Cruise is fellow Oscar winner Morgan Freeman (Shawshank Redemption, Million Dollar Baby, Dark Knight Rises) which should surely make for an unforgettable onscreen pairing.

Oblivion is due for release in April.

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