5 Things You Need To Know About 'Oblivion'

April 18th, 2013 11:30am EDT

Oblivion 1. Not an adaptation of David Foster Wallace's short story collection, Oblivion
No, Oblivion isn't John Krasinki's follow-up to his adaptation of David Foster Wallace's Brief Interviews with Hideous Men. An Oblivion adaptation would be harder than Brief Interviews with Hideous Man. Oblivion, the expensive sci-film out NOW, is about life after an alien invasion that wiped out most of humanity. Joseph Kosinski co-wrote, produced and directed the film based on his unpublished graphic novel. Tom Cruise's Jack Harper is one of the last humans on earth, living in the sky while preventing attacks from warring aliens. The humans won the war, but the aliens destroyed half of the planet. Did humans REALLY win then? Eventually, he's joined by an outrageously attractive woman (Olga Kurylenko), and, later, by Morgan Freeman and his violent buddies.
2. There's MORE to the alien invasion than Tom Cruise initially thought
Indeed, the alien invasion wasn't just a random alien invasion. Morgan Freeman advises Tom Cruise to search for the truth if he wants to find it. How long will it take for Cruise's Jack Harper to find truth? Hopefully long. Mystery in sci-fi is essential to the success of whatever story is being told. Good mysteries can carry a film whereas bad mysteries can drag a film. It's worth noting that Morgan Freeman's glasses/goggles in the movie are spectacular.
3. It pays homage to the sci-fi films of the 1970s
Kosinski stated the above in an interview, and he didn't make clear whether he meant the great sci-fi films of the 1970s, like A Clockwork Orange, Alien, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Star Wars, or if he meant the bad films of the 1970s like The Omega Man. One should assume he meant the former. Oblivion could be entertaining and nostalgic.
4. Tom Cruise fears dinosaurs
Universal Studios originally scheduled the film's release for July 19; however, Tom Cruise fears dinosaurs. Yes, Jurassic Park 3D is set for release on that day. The studio didn't want to mess with dinosaurs in 3D, so they moved Oblivion's release date up by 3 months. The script went through several re-writers, which isn't uncommon. Perhaps, though, Universal felt less enthused about the movie's profitability in the competitive summer market and instead opted for a less competitive date in April.
5. Michael Arndt, screenwriter for Toy Story 3, wrote the final re-write of Oblivion!
Speaking of the re-writes, Michael Arndt wrote the final re-write of the script. Arndt’s involvement is worth paying attention to because he's writing the next Star Wars film. Arndt's a brilliant writer. He penned Little Miss Sunshine, the upcoming Hunger Games, as well as the upcoming theatrical film for Phineas & Ferb. Star Wars fans can rush to a rash judgment based on Oblivion, for good or ill!

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© 2013

Photo Credits: Universal Pictures

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