Joseph Kosinski has successfully transitioned from commercial director – renowned for his award-winning “Mad World” Gears of War and the “Starry Night” Halo 3 video game ads – to full-blown filmmaker, with his sci-fi features TRON: Legacy and Oblivion. For a change of pace, Kosinski will try his hand at something closer to realism, by taking the helm on a currently-untitled straightforward (read: non-sci-fi) action-thriller that’s based on his original idea.
However, while the aforementioned thriller is a work of his own invention (read: a passion project of sorts), there’s a reasonable chance that Kosinski won’t set to work on the movie anytime soon. The evidence? Well, the director struck a deal to direct a Twilight Zone movie for the 21st century two months ago, even though he’s been actively developing TRON 3 for some time now. Not to mention, Kosinski’s sci-fi cult classic remake, The Black Hole, gained a new writer earlier this year (to get the ball rolling faster on the long-gestating project).
Deadline is reporting that Media Rights Capital has bought a spec package for a “grounded action thriller” that’s intended to be a directing vehicle for Kosinski, based on a screenplay written by Christopher Cantwell and Christopher C. Rogers. The latter writing duo collaborated on the upcoming AMC TV series Halt & Catch Fire, which examines the changing culture of Texas’ Silicon Valley in the 1980s and is slated to be headlined by lauded character actors Lee Pace (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug) and Scoot McNairy (12 Years a Slave).
Kosinski’s feature-length directing efforts have featured very exact shot composition and effects-heavy sci-fi world building, which makes you wonder what the final result could be were he to, instead, infuse a thriller with a greater sense of believability. TRON: Legacy and Oblivion (also based on Kosinski’s original idea) both earned a mixed critical reception, though the latter project (arguably) shows that Kosinski has noticeably grown and evolved as a cinematic storyteller – which is to say, now might be a good time for him to explore more down-to-Earth story territory.
Then again, for similar reasons, it might be for the best that Kosinski instead continue refining his skills as a director who draws from many a classic sci-fi trope in his work (too much so, is a common criticism of Oblivion), presumably starting with one of the sci-fi genre projects that’s on his plate. Or, rather, a related geek movie down the line, such as a Star Wars installment (see: the spacecraft chase sequences and character drama in Oblivion, as evidence that Kosinski could be a natural fit for that franchise).
Which project do you hope Kosinski directs next? Let us know in the comments section!