Throughout all the negative PR of the last few years, Tom Cruise remains undeterred, awesomely acting as if he is still Hollywood's biggest star. After the somewhat-dicey "Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol" this holiday season, he's got a no-fail supporting role in "Rock Of Ages" followed by crime picture "One Shot" arriving in 2013, a pretty decent slate for a guy some audiences still consider toxic. After that, Cruise is going big, returning to the genre that served him well in "War Of The Worlds" and "Vanilla Sky" with Joseph Kosinki's "Horizon," formerly titled "Oblivion," and its currently casting two lovely ladies with the opportunity to seduce the practicing Thetan.
There are two major female roles in "Horizon" -- which makes it unusual for a big budget tentpole release, a sad commentary itself. Up for these roles is a predictable who's-who list of top (white) female talent that includes Brit Marling, Olivia Wilde, Jessica Chastain, Noomi Rapace and Olga Kurylenko. One of the roles is for the character Julia, the fiancee of Cruise's Jack who, we're guessing, is glimpsed in flashback from before a cataclysmic alien invasion. The other, likely more action-intensive part is for Victoria, Jack's post-apocalypse right-hand woman, who watches Jack's back as he goes on missions in a war-torn Earth to repair drones that keep humanity alive. Let's take a closer look at these rumored names.
--Marling is clearly a Cruise favorite, having been offered a part in "One Shot." While she declined that project, she's keeping busy with "The Company You Keep" and "The East." By the time the latter film finishes shooting, "Horizon" could be ready to go. Knowing the quasi-sci-fi bent of Marling's "Another Earth" and "Sound Of My Voice," this role would make the lovely Ms. Marling something of a genre staple, and it's uncertain whether she's ready to commit to such status. Whatever the case, Cruise is certainly hot for her, and in this situation, we can't question his taste.
--Wilde makes the most sense, as she's previously worked with "Horizon" director Joseph Kosinski on "Tron: Legacy." She's been working steadily, but currently the only project on her upcoming calendar is the recently announced "Better Living Through Chemistry." We're going to guess she's no longer interested in Doug Liman's moon project, or the pretty dubious-sounding Linda Lovelace biopic.
--Chastain, suddenly ubiquitous, has seven 2011 credits to her name, so by the close of the year, she'll certainly be a much bigger name. Her 2012 projects, an untitled Terrence Malick collaboration and "The Wettest County," have already wrapped, with only "Mama" set to go this fall, so she's ready to go. Given the housewives she's already played in her short career, we're guessing she's being tabbed to play Julia.
--Rapace seized her post-'Dragon Tattoo' fame to nab roles in "Prometheus" and the "Sherlock Holmes" sequel, but Hollywood has yet to see how the enigmatic star will translate to Hollywood. She's certainly pushing a tough-chick agenda in those roles, as well as a potential Catherine Hardwicke vehicle that would have her getting in the ring as a female boxer, so her involvement as Victoria seems like a matter of how well executives will accept Cruise romancing the unconventional-looking Rapace. The last time Cruise starred alongside an acclaimed foreign actress, Carice Van Houten ended up melting into the background of "Valkyrie," so hopefully this part if a bit meatier.
-Kurylenko seems the most unpredictable of these choices, as she's an actress that seemed to have had her shot and lost it, following her Bond Girl status in "Quantum Of Solace" with bit parts in smaller movies that few people saw. She has another action showcase in "The Expatriate," as well as a role in the aforementioned Malick movie, but she's definitely on the more affordable end of these choices.
Of course, this is a short list, and therefore not completely indicative of the talent being pursued for these roles. Not only is it likely there are more names being mentioned, but that representatives for these actresses may have not been contacted yet, despite auditions being held on Saturday. "Horizon," which has a script by William Monahan and Karl Gadjusek with Michael Arndt doing a polish, is based on an unpublished comic book by Kosinski, and has a July 13th, 2013 release date, and with the canceling of "Ouija," "Clue," "At The Mountains Of Madness" and "The Dark Tower," Universal will need all the blockbusters they can find.