Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Just For Laughs: 'The Big Lebowski' Live Read With Michael Fassbender & Jennifer Lawrence Just For Laughs: 'The Big Lebowski' Live Read With Michael Fassbender & Jennifer Lawrence Union Rep Says Safety Was A Concern On 'The Revenant' Shoot Union Rep Says Safety Was A Concern On 'The Revenant' Shoot All The Songs In 'Paper Towns' Including Bon Iver, Wilco, Vampire Weekend, Bob Dylan, And More All The Songs In 'Paper Towns' Including Bon Iver, Wilco, Vampire Weekend, Bob Dylan, And More "A Living Hell": 'The Revenant' Is Reportedly $35 Million Over Budget, A Producer Exited The Movie, And More "A Living Hell": 'The Revenant' Is Reportedly $35 Million Over Budget, A Producer Exited The Movie, And More 'Top Of The Lake' Season 2 Starts Shooting This Year, Elisabeth Moss Returns 'Top Of The Lake' Season 2 Starts Shooting This Year, Elisabeth Moss Returns Watch: Trailer For Bret Easton Ellis’ Penned Teen Horror ‘The Curse of Downers Grove’ With Bella Heathcote Watch: Trailer For Bret Easton Ellis’ Penned Teen Horror ‘The Curse of Downers Grove’ With Bella Heathcote Watch: Video Essay Counts Down The 10 Most Beautiful Movies Of All Time Watch: Video Essay Counts Down The 10 Most Beautiful Movies Of All Time Watch: Bond Is Back In New Trailer For 'Spectre' With Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Lea Seydoux, And More Watch: Bond Is Back In New Trailer For 'Spectre' With Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Lea Seydoux, And More Alejandro González Iñárritu Still Has To Shoot The Finale Of 'The Revenant' Alejandro González Iñárritu Still Has To Shoot The Finale Of 'The Revenant' BBC's 100 Greatest American Films List Includes 'The Dark Knight,' 'Heaven's Gate,' 'Chinatown,' 'Tree Of Life,' And More BBC's 100 Greatest American Films List Includes 'The Dark Knight,' 'Heaven's Gate,' 'Chinatown,' 'Tree Of Life,' And More Ava DuVernay Says She Turned Down 'Black Panther' Because There Might've Been Too Much Compromise Ava DuVernay Says She Turned Down 'Black Panther' Because There Might've Been Too Much Compromise The 20 Best Films Of 2015 So Far The 20 Best Films Of 2015 So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season Stephen King Says Wendy In Kubrick's 'The Shining' Is "One Of The Most Misogynistic Characters Ever Put On Film" Stephen King Says Wendy In Kubrick's 'The Shining' Is "One Of The Most Misogynistic Characters Ever Put On Film" All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More "It Was A Clusterfuck From Day One": 5 Things About Neill Blomkamp's Failed 'Halo' Movie "It Was A Clusterfuck From Day One": 5 Things About Neill Blomkamp's Failed 'Halo' Movie Martin Scorsese Names His 11 Scariest Horror Movies of All Time Martin Scorsese Names His 11 Scariest Horror Movies of All Time

Joseph Kosinski On Why Disney Passed On 'Oblivion,' Weighs In On Possible 'Tron' Sequel

The Playlist By Gabe Toro | The Playlist April 6, 2011 at 7:23AM

So Joseph Kosinski -- what's the guy's current relationship status with Disney? Likely, "it's complicated," but a lot less complicated than you would think. His first film "Tron: Legacy," at the cusp of $400 million worldwide, has become the highest-grossing debut film for any director in history (narrowly beating out Abbas Kiarostami and Manoel del Oliveira for the title). But his next project, "Horizons," was turned down by the Mouse House, leaving the ambitious sci-fi project without a home. While Kosinski is free to shop "Horizons" around town, no official reason was given for why Disney said no.
6

So Joseph Kosinski -- what's the guy's current relationship status with Disney? Likely, "it's complicated," but a lot less complicated than you would think. His first film "Tron: Legacy," at the cusp of $400 million worldwide, has become the highest-grossing debut film for any director in history (narrowly beating out Abbas Kiarostami and Manoel del Oliveira for the title). But his next project, "Horizons," was turned down by the Mouse House, leaving the ambitious sci-fi project without a home. While Kosinski is free to shop "Horizons" around town, no official reason was given for why Disney said no.

During the press rounds for the new "Tron: Legacy" DVD, Kosinski suggests that perhaps Disney felt the material, involving scavengers in a post-apocalyptic future Earth, was probably a bit too edgy. "It’s just outside the box of something that Disney can make right now, which we always knew," says Kosinski, choosing his words carefully. "But I wanted to give it a shot with them, and we tried hard to make it work, but ultimately it was a square peg, round hole type thing. We couldn’t fit it inside the Disney box, and they didn’t want me to change it to fit inside that box because then it wouldn’t be the movie I wanted to make. So they were gracious enough to let me make it somewhere else."

"Horizons" is said to be generating interest from three studios, in particular the genre-friendly Universal, though those could be tenuous negotiations considering how gun-shy Universal has been lately. Still, the material is meant to be an expensive and completely original tentpole property from Kosinski himself, drawing from his own graphic novel "Oblivion" which doesn't see a release until this summer. It's no surprise financiers would be reluctant to back the project. Reportedly, Tom Cruise has been interested in possibly taking a lead role in the film, but as Guillermo del Toro will tell you, Cruise's involvement plus $2.50 will get you a ride on the subway.

Kosinski also remains attached to a remake of "The Black Hole" at Disney, which has a script from "Pacific Rim" writer Travis Beacham. But if that project continues to stall, and with the long-discussed "Horizons" possibly never being made, could Kosinski return to the world of 'Tron'? It's possible, but don't mark your calendars quite yet. "We’re currently working on a script for the next chapter," says Kosinski. "We want to have a script ready, we want to have the right story together, and we’ll see after the TV’s out, and the Blu-ray’s out for a while, if we’ve built a bigger fanbase, at that point, if we can get the team back together to pitch the studio."

Curious that Kosinski considers the need for a lot of pieces to fall into place before a pitch happens. If a studio wants to sequelize your film, they don't wait until the Blu-Ray has been "out for awhile." And the much touted 'Tron' TV series doesn't debut until 2012, which means if everything breaks right, Kosinski pitches "Tr3n" or whatever it's called to Disney with an eye towards shooting in early 2013. So given the extensive production required for this type of film, unless the film's a rush job (entirely possible), it could be five years between "Tron: Legacy" and the release of a sequel.

Which begs the question: is there an audience for another 'Tron'? Deadline correctly points out that Kosinski's debut film outgrossed similar franchise re-starters like "Batman Begins" and "Star Trek." But at what cost? Disney was up front about production and marketing placing the "Tron: Legacy" cost at $320 million, but does that include the Pixar-mandated reshoots and last-minute marketing blitz needed to get this film out there? If the cost was truly $320 million, then they would have likely needed to approach $600 million worldwide to sniff theatrical profit, and that didn't happen.

But "Tron: Legacy" is the perfect definition of the New Blockbuster. To Disney, the $320 million spent on "Tron: Legacy" is cash thrown towards an ancillary. The film is part of a multimedia assault, one that includes the multiple Daft Punk soundtrack releases, DVD packaging and repackaging opportunities, video games, toys and the full-court press being given to the star-studded upcoming television show. To be able to say the 'Tron' experiment (re-energizing a long-dead brand name over multiple mediums) was a success would be to have access to Disney's elaborate 'Tron' portfolio. The movie and Joseph Kosinski are only small parts of a huge puzzle. Which is a way of saying that in the current blockbuster moviemaking paradigm, the movie doesn't entirely matter anymore.

This article is related to: Films, Actors, Film Studios, Joseph Kosinski, Horizons, Tron: Legacy


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates