Disney Locks Down OBLIVION for TRON: LEGACY Director Joseph Kosinski

     August 4, 2010


Disney has purchased the rights to Radical’s graphic novel Oblivion as a directing vehicle for TRON: Legacy helmer Joseph Kosinski.  Per Heat Vision, “The story is set on a future Earth, where civilization lives above the clouds and scavengers collect ancient artifacts from the polluted surface below. When one young scavenger finds a crashed spacecraft planetside, it lead him on a journey filled with romance and adventure.”  AICN posted the first chapter of the book here.  The full graphic novel is set to be released this fall.

Kosinski has been working with Radical on Oblivion since July 2009 and spent the last year honing the story while finishing up TRON.  Kosinski’s relationship with TRON producer (and now Disney president of production) Sean Bailey helped to land the project at the studio.  Click here to see Steve’s must-watch interview with Bailey.   The deal is reportedly in “in the seven figures and is said to be one the largest rights deals of the year.”  Hit the jump to learn about Kosinski’s other projects and why this deal with Disney is part of a larger trend of studios locking down directors.

Tron_Legacy_movie_posterKosinski is a remarkably busy gentleman, especially when you consider that TRON: Legacy is his first feature film and that it hasn’t even opened yet.  Not only is he directing Oblivion, but he’s also attached to helm the sci-fi action spec Archangels and a remake of Disney’s The Black Hole.  Most importantly, he’s attached to helm the two TRON: Legacy sequels that Disney is already in the process of developing.

The purchase of Oblivion is part of a larger trend of studios trying to keep directors in-house.  That’s not to say that Disney is just buying Oblivion for the sole purpose of keeping Kosinski around, but it’s certainly part of it.  If TRON: Legacy is the smash hit that Disney thinks it will be, then the purchase of Oblivion keeps Kosinski around for a potential sequel.

Disney isn’t the only studio building relationships with directors in this manner.  Warner Bros. gives Christopher Nolan a dumptruck full of money to make Inception with the implicit understanding that afterwards Nolan will make Batman 3.  Fox wants to stay in the Robert Rodriguez business and that’s partly why they’re offering him Deadpool.  I personally have no problem with these arrangements.  It plays into the one-for-them, one-for-me mentality in Hollywood, but when a “one-for-me” turns out to be a movie like Inception, then who’s to complain?  Now here’s hoping that Disney hasn’t misjudged the potential success of TRON: Legacy.

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