Mike Fleming

Disney is letting go of Oblivion, the Radical Publishing graphic novel that it acquired in a heated auction last summer as a directing vehicle for Tron: Legacy helmer Joseph Kosinski. I’m told that other studios are looking at the project, which got a script by William Monahan and, I’ve heard, interest from Tom Cruise. Studios are looking at a rewrite by Karl Gajdusek, and I’m told this is a $100 million plus project (not including star salary), so it’s an opportunity for someone to pencil in a tent pole.

Calls to Disney haven’t been returned on the subject, but I’ve heard that the reason Disney stopped work after developing the script and going through a soft prep process is that the studio decided that a gritty PG-13 science fiction action project didn’t fit into the Disney mandate. Considering that Paramount, Fox-based Chernin Entertainment and Universal all chased the property before Disney stepped up to keep its Tron: Legacy helmer in the studio fold, I’m told this will get bought by somebody. It will have an easy exit, as the deal came with progress to production language. It’s unclear if Kosinski will direct this next; he’s got Black Hole at Disney, and the studio’s developing a Tron: Legacy sequel.

Oblivion is a futuristic science fiction love story taking place in an apocalyptic future where most of the population lives in clouds above an earth surface that has been rendered for the most part uninhabitable. An earthbound soldier — stuck there repairing drones that patrol and blast a savage alien life form — encounters a beautiful woman who crashed in a craft, and they have an experience that forces him to question his world view.

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