This shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anyone. Walt Disney Pictures has decided not to move forward with producing an adaptation of Tron: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski’s upcoming illustrated novel Oblivion, says Variety. The studio made a deal with the filmmaker last August after the book bowed at the San Diego Comic-Con, when Tron was tracking big and looked like it was going to be the start of another huge franchise for the Mouse House.
Fast forward a few months. The film’s $398 million haul was good enough to draw profit but was hardly the hit that Disney thought it had on its hands, and thus, Kosinski’s stock at the company has cooled momentarily. He’s still attached to helm a remake of its 1979 sci-fi family film The Black Hole, but it looks like he’ll shop Oblivion (which was possibly retitled Horizons) around at other studios with producer Barry Levine of Radical Publishing (who helped develop the book) first. For those unaware of what this ambitious tent pole is about, the story is set in a future in which the Earth’s surface has been irradiated beyond recognition and the human survivors live above the clouds, safe from the alien Scavengers that stalk the ruins. But when surface-drone repairman Jak discovers a mysterious woman in a crash-landed pod, it sets off a chain of events that forces him to question everything he believes.
William Monahan (The Departed) and Karl Gajdusek (upcoming Trespass) worked on the script, which means that it’s probably pretty good. Given the visual flair of Kosinski’s Tron, I’ve got no reason to believe that this original project won’t be cool; it just needs a home. There’s a huge market for big science fiction these days, so I can’t imagine a studio not going for the property. Disney may regret letting this one go in the long term…