Despite an acting resume that stretches back nearly 50 years, Morgan Freeman hasn’t really done much in the science fiction genre. That’s surprising given his standing in the industry and the fact that he’s been trying to get a movie version of Arthur C. Clarke’s Rendezvous with Rama made for years now. While Rama may eventually find its way out of development hell (after all, they’re finally making Ender’s Game), in the meantime Freeman will be jumping into the SF world by appearing in the upcoming Tom Cruise flick Oblivion. Deadline says Freeman will be playing an unidentified but “critical” role.
Formerly or alternatively titled Horizons, depending on what the story is any given week, Oblivion is being directed by Tron Legacy helmed Joseph Kosinski. Regardless of what you thought of that movie, there’s no question it was visually stunning, so it’s good to see Kosinski tackling more SF material. As for the storyline, it stars Tom Cruise as a soldier stationed above the nearly uninhabitable remains of Earth. His job is to repair the automated ships that hunt down the predatory aliens that have infested Earth’s surface. Things get interesting when a mysterious woman crash-lands, leading Cruise’s character to begin questioning his mission.
The project is based on a graphic novel by Arvid Nelson, and the script is currently undergoing rewrites courtesy of Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3). In addition to Cruise and Freeman, the cast includes Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace‘s Bond girl) and Andrea Riseborough (W.E.). It’s set to hit theaters on July 19, 2013.