Tom Cruise may not have included many science fiction films in his decades-long resume, but he seems to be trying to make up for it lately. He’s attached to not one, but two high-profile SF projects in the works. One, Oblivion, has already attracted a cast that includes Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko, and Melissa Leo, and is being directed by TRON: Legacy helmer Joseph Kosinski. The other, saddled with the awkward but unforgettable title of All You Need Is Kill, is now looking to add the lovely Emily Blunt as a female lead.
First announced back in December, All You Need Is Kill is based on a Japanese graphic novel by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. Cruise will star as a soldier in a future war who dies in combat, only to find himself resurrected and reliving the same day over and over. As he is able to carry his memories from one incarnation to the next, he struggles to discover why this is happening to him and how to break the cycle. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Blunt is in talks to play Valkyrie One, a fellow soldier and one of Earth’s best warriors. If she signs on board, All You Need Is Kill will be one of several recent SF roles for the British actress, including the Philip K. Dick adaptation The Adjustment Bureau and the upcoming time-travel flick Looper.
Even if you’re not a fan of Cruise, it’s great to see him attached to new SF movies, if only because it will bring them plenty of attention, and their success or failure will likely affect the greenlighting of further SF projects on down the line. Cruise’s past involvement with the genre has been hit or miss, with Minority Report a solid outing that failed to stick the landing, War of the Worlds a spectacular big-screen experience that fumbles into a saccharine Spielberg ending, and Vanilla Sky an intriguing but deeply flawed experiment. Hopefully Cruise will use some of that Scientology hoodoo to make Oblivion and All You Need Is Kill SF classics rather than cases of failed potential. The addition of Emily Blunt certainly couldn’t hurt.