By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist March 29, 2011 at 9:47AM
For a while, it seemed that Disney was still total buds with Joseph Kosinski. The commercial director turned feature filmmaker made his feature length debut with "Tron: Legacy," the eye-opening franchise reboot of sorts that unfortunately underperformed with audiences and was met with lukewarm praise from fans. Regardless, the studio seemed to be plowing ahead with his graphic novel “Oblivion,” a property the studio picked up a while ago and was still actively developing. In fact, just a couple of weeks ago, Karl Gajdusek was brought on board to do a rewrite to the script -- now being called "Horizons" --- that also saw William Monahan take a pass at it. But it looks like it was all for naught.
Variety reports that Disney will no longer be moving ahead with the project, and they've allowed Kosinski and Radical Publishing to take it around town to see if there are any interested takers.
The story is "set in a future where the Earth's surface has been irradiated beyond recognition and the remnants of humanity live above the clouds, safe from the brutal alien Scavengers that stalk the ruins. But when surface drone repairman Jak discovers a mysterious woman in a crash-landed pod, it sets off an unstoppable chain of events that will force him to question everything he knows."
No word why Disney had a change of heart. One wonders if they were cool on the project all along but wanted to wait until enough distance had passed from the "Tron: Legacy" theatrical release before letting Kosinski and his work go. Or maybe, the blockbuster-bring-your-family-lets-make-a-theme-park-ride-out-of-it mentality at the studio just didn't make sense for what is admittedly a darker than usual story for the mouse house. But at any rate, it looks like the Kosinski and Disney friendship is over for now.
The graphic novel itself will be published this summer and perhaps if enough people rally around it, some new life will be kicked into "Oblivion"/"Horizons." But for now, we don't see anyone handing Kosinski $100 million dollars to make a movie, at least not one based on his own property -- at least not without some serious oversight. He hasn't quite earned that status yet.