After Disney got cold feet over producing another PG-13 sci-fi tent pole for Tron: Legacy’s Joseph Kosinski, the Mouse House allowed the filmmaker to shop his new project Horizons (formerly titled Oblivion) around Tinsel Town. Before long every studio was grabbing at the ambitious film, which centers on a lone solider/scavenger on a desolate future world who makes a startling discovery that forces him to question everything he knows about his existence. According to The Hollywood Reporter, though, Universal has emerged the victor in the battle for Horizons; the studio will produce the picture with an eye toward an October start.
With big-budget films like Battleship, Snow White and the Huntsman and The Bourne Legacy gearing up to shoot, what could’ve enticed the studio to take on another large scale production like this? The answer: Tom Cruise. Universal had been hoping to nab the one-time biggest star in the world for its Guillermo del Toro-directed horror fantasy At The Mountains Of Madness, but wouldn’t back that film because of its ballooning price tag and hard-R rating. However, that didn’t mean the company didn’t want to be in business with Cruise, who made films such as Born of the Fourth of July and Far and Away at the studio.
The A-lister has been actively seeking out blockbuster vehicles for some time, so it comes as no surprise to me that he’s enthusiastic about this intriguing science fiction film. Universal has plenty to gain, as it can gloat about having a hot young director and an iconic movie star on board Horizons. And say what you want about Cruise’s personal antics, but he’s still capable of drawing audiences and delivering fantastic performances; this could be the beginning of his second coming and the first step toward a great film on the…horizon.