Visually striking science fiction has had a friend in Joseph Kosinski. Starting from his directorial debut, TRON: Legacy in 2010, and with his follow up, the Tom Cruise vehicle Oblivion in 2013, Kosinski has built a name for himself by telling stories heavily laced with CGI to create stunningly actualized sci-fi worlds. For all his reliance on computer generated effects, however, Kosinski’s stories have always been tales that focus on the exploration of humanity.
The TRON sequel and Oblivion, whatever else they might be, used their science fiction settings to explore the human experience. With Legacy, he dealt with a young man living in the shadow of an absent father; with Oblivion he explored what it is that makes a person human. Sci-fi aside, Kosinski tells stories that are utterly human at their core. In that way, his next effort makes a sort of sense. He’s moved on from science fiction in order to tell a real life tragedy, arguably the most human story that can be told.
Variety confirmed today that director has been tapped to helm a movie about the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a true story involving a group of Arizona firefighters who risked life and limb to battle one of the deadliest wildfires in the state’s history. Produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura, the film (titled No Exit) has been written by Black Hawk Down scribe Ken Nolan.
Details about the project are scarce, but stories about the Granite Mountain Hotshots spread quickly in 2013 after 19 members of the Prescott, Arizona fire department lost their lives fighting the Yarnell Hill Wildfire that threatened their town. It’s the ultimate real life story of duty, honor, and the dangers we ask others to put themselves in to protect ourselves and our society.
While it might seem weird to tap a director best known for science fiction to direct this true story, Kosinski’s eye for striking detail should benefit the project greatly. He’s a director who knows how to make the most of CGI, which will no doubt be in abundance here. His tendency to tell stories grounded in humanity is a good mix with Nolan, whose most famous work examined the human faces of a tragic war story.
In fact, the parallels between this project and Black Hawk Down are apparent. A group of heroes stuck in an impossible situation fighting for their lives amidst unheard of danger. The collaboration between Kosinski and Nolan could bring the tragic heroics of the Granite Mountain Hotshots to life with stunning results with plenty of awe inspiring visuals.
We’ll keep you posted on all casting and development news concerning No Exit as it becomes available.