Tom Cruise has finished work on Oblivion, Joseph Kosinski’s followup to TRON Legacy (which was his freshman directorial effort). The A-lister is preparing for his next sci-fi/action vehicle, All You Need Is Kill, from director Doug Liman, whose resume includes Bourne Identity, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and Jumper.

All You Need Is Kill is based on the Hiroshi Sakurazaka novel with illustrations by Yoshitoshi Abe. The Warner Bros. film is ramping up for an October start date overseas in London. It would make sense if the studio is planning to release the movie during the Winter 2013 season, following the pattern of last year’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and this December’s Jack Reacher (both Cruise vehicles, obviously). That’s not a given, though.

The project is expected to retain the narrative foundation of Sakurazaka’s source material, wherein a soldier (Cruise) caught up in a future war between humanity and extraterrestrial forces dies in battle, only to wake up and re-experience that same day over and over. All You Need Is Kill is usually referred to as “Groundhog Day with an alien twist,” though it also begs comparison to the sci-fi thriller Source Code (which is being developed into a television series).

Emily Blunt costars in All You Need Is Kill as Valkyrie One, a character Movieline describes as “a highly-decorated special forces fighter who [Cruise’s character] encounters while trapped in his time loop.” It marks the second time dimension-traversing sci-fi thriller in a row for the actress, who also appears in this fall’s Looper from director Rian Johnson (and was present at Comic-Con earlier this month).

Emily Blunt in ‘Looper’

Liman’s once again working on high-concept territory here, drawing from an initial script draft penned by Joby Harold (the little-seen Hayden Christensen thriller Awake) and Dante Harper (next year’s Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters) that was polished off by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. That powerhouse duo is backing an upcoming Van Helsing movie with Cruise, while the former pair of writers are working on an adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy.

Most headlines featuring Cruise’s name in recent weeks have been focused on his divorce from Katie Holmes, putting an unflattering spotlight back on the actor’s Scientology background. Cruise, as it were, is reacting in probably the best way possible: by staying busy in his professional life, moving forward to All You Need Is Kill (with Top Gun 2 and Mission: Impossible 5 on the horizon).

We’ll keep you updated on All You Need Is Kill as the story develops.

Source: Deadline, Movieline