TRON: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski has been working hard to get his new original project, Oblivion, off the ground. The project hit a snag when Disney dropped it earlier this year, claiming that the PG-13 dystopian epic wasn’t Disney brand-friendly (though cynics believe the lukewarm critical reception of TRON played a part in the decision).

The Disney hiccup had a happy ending, though: Oblivion landed at Universal Pictures with a $100 million budget and a big star circling it in the form of Tom Cruise.

Today Deadline has the exclusive that Cruise has signed on for Kosinski’s Oblivion, which will see the (A-list?) star back in the sort of role we saw him play (with great success) in Steven Spielberg’s 2002 film Minority Report. Read the synopsis for Oblivion below to see what I mean:

In a future where the Earth’s surface has been irradiated beyond recognition, the remnants of humanity live above the clouds, safe from the brutal alien Scavengers that stalk the ruins. But when surface drone repairman Jak discovers a mysterious woman in a crash-landed pod, it sets off an unstoppable chain of events that will force him to question everything he knows.

Guy living in a future society gets caught up in a ‘chain of events’ that forces him to re-examine what he knows about the world he lives in, all while dashing from one futuristic set piece to another? Yep, should fit Cruise like an old glove ;-).

The megastar has already wrapped Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, which will hit theaters this winter, and he is now working on the Adam Shankman (Hairspray) adaptation of the Broadway rock musical, Rock of Ages. Cruise will play an over-the-hill rock superstar named Stacee Jaxx and he will be (gasp) showing off his singing chops, to boot.

Oblivion will take the place of the now-defunct adaption of H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness, which Cruise was set to work on with Guillermo del Toro. Deadline claims that the actor is looking at del Toro’s new project, the sci-fi monster movie Pacific Rim, but nothing has been confirmed yet on that front.

The dystopian world of 'Oblivion'

TRON: Legacy was not that great of a movie – however the problems with the film had a lot more to do with the script (which was penned by half a dozen writers, no less) and less with Kosinski’s ability to direct. In fact, the world Kosinski built and the action scenes he brought to fruition were the only redeeming qualities of TRON: Legacy – so with writers like William Monahan (The Departed) and Karl Gajdusek (Dead Like Me, Trespass) hopefully crafting a better narrative, Oblivion may turn out to be something great. Given how notoriously fickle Cruise is about his projects (we’ll just forget about Knight & Day) something about the project must’ve impressed him.

With a big star now attached, expect production on Oblivion to ramp up quickly.

Source: Deadline