Joseph Kosinski Talks OBLIVION Rating, Running Time, Casting Tom Cruise & More
TRON: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski discusses his next science fiction epic, revealing what the running time could be, casting Tom Cruise without having a script, marketing an original project and more.
Speaking with Collider, director Joseph Kosinski discusses his anticipated sci-fi project Oblivion, which is based on his Radical Comics graphic novel of the same name. He talks in detail about filming with the Sony CineAlta F65 camera, saying, "The F65 is kind of the next generation of the F35 which is what I used on Tron and was really happy with. I’ve always liked Sony, the way it renders color and skin tone. I’ve always felt that Sony has always had the best color. The Alexa is a fantastic camera, but the F65 is a 4K camera with an 8K chip, so it takes an 8K sensor and down samples it to 4k, so you get an extremely sharp 4k and for this movie and the locations we were going to in Iceland detail for me was very important. So I tested all the different cameras I tested different frame rates, thought about 3D, but in the end I decided the 4k 2D was the best format for this movie. And I think we’ll be the first movie out on the F65 because After Earth was also shot with that camera and I think they’re out in the end of the summer."
Kosinski also reveals that the first assembly cut of the Tom Cruise-starrer was over three hours long, but after editing through several times, we should expect the final running time to be around two hours. "It was long. We shot a lot on this movie. It’s a complicated movie with a lot of twists and turns, so I came in with more than I needed... The assembly was over three hours. My editor’s assembly, which is essentially everything you shot put together without any kind of editorial, but I think the final cut will be closer to two. My first pass through it very quickly got down to two and a half hours, very quickly. I think the first thing I showed the studio was around two hours and fifteen minutes, two hours and twenty. That’s where we just keep working, distilling, focusing. There’s certain narrative threads that you don’t need but you don’t really know until you get into it. You don’t really know what you need and what you don’t until you sit down and watch the whole movie. I think we’ll be closer to just over two hours, which is where we are now and I think that’s where we’re going to stay." Concerning marketing, he says that having Cruise and Morgan Freeman star helps, and he also discusses marketing a new and original property for the audience. "That’s step one, you get Tom Cruise. Step two, you get Morgan Freeman. And in the marketing of the movie I think they’re going to market in a way that tries to make it feel familiar even though it is a new property. And I think we saw a little bit of that in the trailer. Try to lean in to those trailer tropes so it feels like something that we’ve seen before even if it isn’t."
When the film was in early development, there was a bidding war for the Oblivion rights. Disney was among those studios in contention, and even gained the film rights in 2010. However, the studio eventually sold the project when a disagreement was reached concerning the tone of the movie. "It wasn’t really the ratings; it didn’t come down to something just as simple as PG-13 or PG," says Kosinski. "I think when the movie comes out, it will be very clear as to why it didn’t make sense as a Disney movie. There’s some stuff in the trailer that’s very un-Disney that was always important to me to be in the movie. Obviously I have a great relationship with Disney and all the people over there and it was a totally amicable decision that in order for the movie to be what it wanted to be it didn’t make sense to be there. So we landed at Universal which was a great place for it and now the movie’s kind of able to be what it needs to be. Disney’s clearly in the business of doing giant tentpole movies based on properties that they own. And that’s what they should be doing because they’re great at doing that."
Finally, the director reveals how Cruise came on board the project. "There was no script, that’s kind of the amazing thing. I showed the ashcan, which is kind of like a little eight page preview The first thing that came out, it was at Comic-Con 2010. That’s all I had. Obviously I had the whole treatment, but in that little ashcan we just put a little opening chapter that kind of introduced the story and it had like eight pictures in it; just a little teaser pamphlet. The day after I got back from Comic-Con I got a call from his agent that he wanted to meet, that he had seen the ashcan. Somehow he had gotten his hands on it the day after Comic-Con. So we had a meeting out at his hanger and I pitched him the story — there was no script yet — and based on the pitch he signed on."
To check out Collider's full interview with Kosinski, in which he discusses M83's score and costume designs, click the source link below.
Oblivion stars Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko, Andrea Riseborough, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Melissa Leo. The film is set to hit IMAX theaters April 12th, 2013, before releasing in general cinemas a week later.
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