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

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by Kevin Jagernauth
June 28, 2012 2:11 PM
21 Comments
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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.

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More: Oblivion, M83, Joseph Kosinski, Soundtrack

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21 Comments

  • callumq | June 29, 2012 2:03 PMReply

    M83 is my favorite artist. So its safe to say Oblivion is firmly on my radar. His album; Before The Dawn Heals Us, pretty much already is a film soundtrack!

  • calvin candie pants | June 29, 2012 9:13 AMReply

    Pics from Iceland filming here.. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2166098/Tom-Cruise-blast-filming-new-sci-fi-movie-Icelandic-volcano.html

  • yer | June 28, 2012 7:36 PMReply

    Tron Legacy was awful. What exactly did he bring to the that film that allowed him to make another one?

  • Ali | June 28, 2012 5:46 PMReply

    Great news, kill the killjoy below, ugh, pretentious fuck.

  • AHAHAHA! | June 28, 2012 7:16 PM

    Amazing when someone says, "too many douchebags in the room!" to no one in particular and then a douchebag recognizes himself and then outs himself.

  • low_on_ideas | June 28, 2012 6:09 PM

    Ali, I was mystified by your name-calling and request for homicide. Then I realized that you were actually just speaking in code and your message was actually an anagram for:

    I lik beagle. We chub junky growths. I lust on feet. tell pro.

    Thank you for sharing. I wish all comments could be as honest and revealing as yours.

  • rr | June 28, 2012 3:35 PMReply

    According to imdb this is already in post production?

  • Cde. | June 28, 2012 7:04 PM

    I imagine there's some post work going on, but the shoot continues until mid August.

  • Laura | June 28, 2012 3:56 PM

    since when was imdb credible?

  • Wash | June 28, 2012 3:08 PMReply

    Wah Wah Wah. If you don't like the articles, read elsewhere. Plenty of internet to go around.

  • Wash | July 5, 2012 11:27 AM

    Your welcome? You take the bait on every single post, every single time. It's impressive.

  • low_on_ideas | June 28, 2012 3:39 PM

    Dear Wash,
    Thank you for your beautifully reasoned yet delightfully concise argument that effortlessly cuts to the heart of this matter. Forgive me if I try to interpret your brilliant critique for the wider audience that may miss the genius of your statement (this is a Hollywood crowd.)

    Though Wash's use of infant semiotics might seem at first like the Internet equivalent of the angry roar of a troll, dismissing the legitimacy of other denizens of its community while refusing to leave his own fenced off anonymous playground (perhaps because he's embarrassed by the way his body is crusted over with months worth of his own filth), the truth is that Wash's statement is playfully pointing out the paradox of Internet critique. If Wash truly believed the argument that there is "Plenty of internet to go around" then he or she would clearly not go to the trouble of critiquing a single comment on a single page. Especially not with so effective an argument as "wah wah wah".
    Its enough to expand your mind tenfold while exploring the new dimensions of this "commenter's paradox."
    Thank you, Wash. Thank you for making the world a little smarter.

  • low_on_ideas | June 28, 2012 2:54 PMReply

    Is it just me or has the playlist become two publications? One is a blog that cheekily reports on film goings-on for an audience or in-the-know film lovers. That publication has reviews that honestly sum up films like Tron:Legacy with "Lacks Soul, Narratively Empty" and Robot & Frank as "Disappointing... Low On Ideas." While the second "The Playlist" publication breathlessly reports on the project of dubious quality that is the subject of this article or says Robot & Frank "warmed the hearts of many when it premiered at Sundance earlier this year" while reporting on the trailer.

  • low_on_ideas | June 28, 2012 6:44 PM

    BEN: Yeah, I know, that was in response to "Reviews and News are two different things", which I realize ML did not mean what I read into it. But it's the editorializing in the news articles that I'm responding to here. It wouldn't bother me except that it is inconsistent between the news and reviews. My main beef with it is that the news articles are starting to feel like they're written by each film's publicist. So, that's it. I've spilled way too much digital ink on this one article and I'm going to stop here. For the record, I love M83 and think he should be doing soundtracks. Not so into the director, that's all.

  • ben | June 28, 2012 6:26 PM

    @low_on_ideas: By the way, ML never said "news should be objective and Reviews/Editorials are the place to publish opinions."

  • low_on_ideas | June 28, 2012 5:13 PM

    ML: As for your "hive mind" argument, the point of a reviewer publishing official reviews under the name of the publication and not just posting rants to their own personal blog, it seems to me, is the opportunity to speak as the official editorial voice on the quality of a film. When one speaks about a review they read here or in a newspaper, they generally don't say "Cory Everett's review said it was Low on Ideas", they say "The Playlist said it was not so good." So, yeah, kind of a hive mind.

  • Low_On_ideas | June 28, 2012 5:02 PM

    ML: I would agree with you that News should be objective and Reviews/Editorials are the place to publish opinions. So how would you characterize these quotes from the above article?
    " Joseph Kosinski embraced the challenge set forth to him by Disney"
    "a unique visual eye to the blockbuster "Tron: Legacy"
    "a stroke of inspiration."
    "The film ... will be lensed in stunning digital 4K, "

    Look, I know this is a basically a blog but these articles that are basically rehashed press releases do a disservice to the thoughtful reviews and to the intelligence of the regular readers.

  • ML | June 28, 2012 4:43 PM

    Low On Ideas: Reviews and News are two different things, generally written by different people. Why do you expect the place to be a hive mind?

  • Marko's mom | June 28, 2012 3:06 PM

    Yeah, Marko, but you read it and then ranted around the house about it for 40 damn minutes. You really couldn't have shut up after 10? Couldn't you realize some of the other staff probably rolled their eyes at that review too?

  • Marko | June 28, 2012 3:00 PM

    Well that's what you get with a publication ran by man children that give positive reviews to things like Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter.

  • ben | June 28, 2012 2:21 PMReply

    Excellent pairing.

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