Joseph Kosinski Oblivion

Walking out of Oblivion, you’ll probably have a few questions. Not plot questions, mind you. Director Joseph Kosinski makes what happens in the movie very clear. The questions are more about the director’s process. His mindset. Was Kosinski deliberatly echoing sci-fi films of the past? How much input did uncredited screenwriter Michael Arndt (Star Wars Episode VII) have? How did he pull off some of the film’s seamless visual effects? Did changing studios alter the movie? Is he offended by the Wall-E comparisons? Has he started thinking sequel? And which Disney property is next for the director, Tron 3 or The Black Hole?

Luckily, Kosinski was kind enough to give /Film a few minutes on the Universal Studios Backlot the week before the film’s opening to answer those questions, and a whole lot more. Check it out below. Read More »

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IGN was lucky to catch screenwriters Lawrence Kasdan (Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark) and Simon Kinberg (Sherlock Holmes, X-Men: The Last Stand) at last night’s Final Draft Big Break screenwriting awards, where Kasdan was honored with the hall of fame award. Jim Vejvoda talked to them about the upcoming seventh installment of the Star Wars Skywalker saga and the standalone spin-off films, which they are currently working on as “consultants”. While not much in terms of details were revealed in the chat, we do get a couple bits.

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Since last week’s announcement that J.J. Abrams would be directing the hotly anticipated film Star Wars Episode VII, everyone’s been wondering, “What happened?” After the film was first revealed, Abrams was asked if he’d be interested in helming and he said “No.” Fast forward a few weeks and now the director of Star Trek is heading to a galaxy far, far away.

The main reason for Abrams’ change of heart was Kathleen Kennedy, the head of LucasFilm. In an new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Kennedy explains in detail how she went about persuading the director the make the movie, which included long, secret meetings at Bad Robot with screenwriter Michael Arndt and consultant Lawrence Kasdan.

Read the full story below, which includes Kennedy’s admission that the film’s 2015 release date isn’t set in stone. Read More »

Until last year, the best way to milk additional theatrical coin out of the Star Wars franchise seemed to be releasing the films in 3D remasters. The process started with the 3D release of Episode I: The Phantom Menace, which hit theaters in February 2012. That release didn’t do all that well, and with the announcement of Star Wars Episode VII, Disney and LucasFilm are now ready to concentrate only on that film.

So the 3D versions of Episode II and III won’t be released this year as planned. Deadline confirms with LucasFilm reps that LucasFilm now wants to focus on “rebooting the franchise” with the J.J. Abrams-directed Episode VII, scripted by Michael Arndt. We don’t know if the 3D conversions of the prequels might be released at some point in the future.

After the break, quizzed on his new directing gig, J.J. Abrams surprises no one by avoiding specifics, and others react to the news. Read More »

When LucasFilm hired Michael Arndt to write Star Wars Episode VII, the screenwriter instantly became a household name. Even though he’d already won an Oscar for Little Miss Sunshine and scripted the billion-dollar hit Toy Story 3, this job made us extremely curious about the man. What made him tick? How big a Star Wars fan is he? Will he deliver a story worthy of the films that preceded it?

Most of those questions remain unanswered. An old video has come to light, however, that shows Arndt talking in depth about his process, his path to success and writing Little Miss Sunshine. It’s a video that shows the storied Star Wars franchise is in excellent hands. Check it out below. Read More »

Here’s the first official poster for Oblivion, the new film from Tron Legacy director Joseph Kosinski. The movie casts Tom Cruise as a drone repairman who is stationed on an Earth that has seen better days, to put things mildly. The first image sells a grand vision of an almost fossilized Manhattan, with Cruise in the now-standard poster stance. After Tron I’m not certain about Kosinski’s storytelling chops, but I know he can deliver visual spectacle, and this poster certainly promises big imagery.

Olga Kurylenko, Andrea Riseborough, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and Melissa Leo also star, with the script by William Monahan, Karl Gajdusek, and Michael Arndt based on a graphic novel that Kosinski created.

The trailer will hit on Sunday, but for now you can see the poster below. Read More »

Note: Until it’s announced on StarWars.com, the news of Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg writing Star Wars Episodes VIII and IX can’t be considered official, but when two Hollywood trades report on it, that’s pretty close, so this article is assuming that it’s true.

For decades, film has been considered a directors medium. (Before the ’60s, it was usually thought of as a producer’s game.) Ask anyone now to name titans of the industry, and they’re going to list directors: Ford, Hitchcock, Kubrick, Scorsese, Spielberg. And so, when the news of a new set of Star Wars movies was announced, the conversation immediately turned to directors. Who could possibly shepherd our unrealistic expectations of a sequel to Return of the Jedi?

At the only place that counts, LucasFilm, it seems they feel writers are more important than the director. While hiring Michael Arndt to write Star Wars Episode VII before hiring a director made complete sense (most directors would never commit to a project without a script), hiring Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg to write Star Wars Episodes VIII and XI before any directors are attached at all speaks volumes to how this trilogy is being handled. It seems to suggest that story is king and that’s a good thing. Read More »

Update from Editor Peter Sciretta: Disney and LucasFilm have officially confirmed that Michael Arndt is signed to write Star Wars: Episode VII. The following statement was posted on StarWars.com:

As pre-production of Star Wars: Episode VII begins, Lucasfilm has confirmed that award-winning writer Michael Arndt will write the screenplay for the new Star Wars film. As revealed in the ongoing video series posted here on StarWars.com, Kathleen Kennedy and George Lucas have begun story conferences with Arndt. Arndt won an Academy Award® for Best Original Screenplay for writing Little Miss Sunshine (2006), and was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay for writing Toy Story 3 (2010).

The original story follows after the jump.

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