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Exclusive: M83 Scoring Joseph Kosinski's Sci-Fi Film 'Oblivion' Starring Tom Cruise

The Playlist By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist June 28, 2012 at 2:11PM

For his first feature film, Joseph Kosinski embraced the challenge set forth to him by Disney. Not only did he bring a unique visual eye to the blockbuster "Tron: Legacy" he eschewed a traditional score for a set of brand new compositions from Daft Punk, a pairing that proved to be a stroke of inspiration. Now gearing up his next effort, the sci-fi tale "Oblivion," Kosinski has once again chosen another exciting act to help tell his tale.
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M83 Joseph Kosinski
David James/Universal Pictures

For his first feature film, Joseph Kosinski embraced the challenge set forth to him by Disney. Not only did he bring a unique visual eye to the blockbuster "Tron: Legacy" he eschewed a traditional score for a set of brand new compositions from Daft Punk, a pairing that proved to be a stroke of inspiration. Now gearing up his next effort, the sci-fi tale "Oblivion," Kosinski has once again chosen another exciting act to help tell his tale.

French electronic act M83 have been selected to score "Oblivion," and as fans of the band already know, their music has been widescreen-ready from minute one. Fronted by Anthony Gonzalez, M83 have built a steady fanbase and critical acclaim with their unique and powerful larger-than-life compositions that swell both the heart and ears all at once. Breaking out with Before The Dawn Heals Us, M83 have delivered six albums that have seen their sound continue to evolve, with 2011's Hurry Up, We're Dreaming marking their highest charting record to date.

Moving recently to Los Angeles to more actively pursue soundtrack work, for Gonzalez, the opportunity to score a movie is the fulfillment of a longtime dream, and he's ready to take on the challenge. "I've wanted to do soundtracks for so long, and starting with such an ambitious project, especially in the sci-fi category, means a lot to me," he told The Playlist, adding that the experience he's gained up until this point in his career has prepared him for the immense task ahead of him. "I'm not afraid to do my first soundtrack on a big Hollywood movie, with a big budget and a lot of pressure...I like challenges and it excites me more than frightens me. I can't wait to hear my music played by amazing musicians, and an orchestra and brass and maybe choirs. It's a chance to create something big and I'm ready for it."

"I'm always trying to push myself and I try to do it with my studio albums, and now this is a new adventure, so I'm going to push myself even harder, and try to surprise people and move people with my music," Gonzalez said, adding: "My vision is really to have a combination of very electronic moments, very M83, and sometimes merge into something more soundtrack-y, but my kind of soundtracks."

Joseph Kosinski first started working on "Oblivion" well before "Tron: Legacy," and notes that even then, M83 was part of his process. "I was listening to his music back in 2005 when I first wrote this story, so he was part of this from the very beginning in my mind, kind of creatively. And about two years ago, when I started putting together a shortlist of people I'd love to talk to for this project, I sat down with him and we talked about it," he said. "And it was very clear he had a passion for film and I knew just from his electronic music that he had the potential to create something epic."

"The story has a small cast of characters, it was designed as kind of a character-driven story, but at the same time it takes place in a vast world. So I need a score that is both emotional, but at the same time can feel big and have a lot of space in it. And his music has that. It's emotional, it's triumphant, it just has a spirit and a life to it," Kosinski added. "It can feel very intimate but it also can feel just huge when it has to. His music is able to capture all those different feelings and qualities simultaneously."

The film will shoot on location in Iceland and in the United States, and will be lensed in stunning digital 4K, utilizing Sony's F65 cameras, which Kosinski told us "is kind of like shooting 65mm digitally." Based on an original story by Kosinski, with a script from writers William Monahan, Karl Gajdusek and Michael Arndt, "Oblivion" stars Tom Cruise, Olga Kurylenko, Andrea Riseborough, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Melissa Leo. The official synopsis for the film is below -- look for it in theaters via Universal Pictures on April 26, 2013.

Tom Cruise stars in Oblivion, an original and groundbreaking cinematic event from the director of TRON: Legacy and the producer of Rise of the Planet of the Apes. On a spectacular future Earth that has evolved beyond recognition, one man’s confrontation with the past will lead him on a journey of redemption and discovery as he battles to save mankind.

Jack Harper (Cruise) is one of the last few drone repairmen stationed on Earth. Part of a massive operation to extract vital resources after decades of war with a terrifying threat known as the Scavs, Jack’s mission is nearly complete.

Living and patrolling the breathtaking skies from thousands of feet above, his soaring existence is brought crashing down when he rescues a beautiful stranger from a downed spacecraft. Her arrival triggers a chain of events that forces him to question everything he knows and puts the fate of humanity in his hands.

This article is related to: Oblivion, M83, Joseph Kosinski, Soundtrack


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