While Joseph Kosinski’s follow-up to Tron: Legacy has already opened internationally, Oblivion won’t open in the U.S. until this Friday. It’s the first big science fiction film in a year full of them, including Star Trek Into Darkness, Pacific Rim, and After Earth, just to name a few. Whether the film succeeds as a whole remains to be seen, but there’s no question that Joseph Kosinski has created a visually spectacular world. But for lead actor Tom Cruise, the appeal of the project all came down to character.
In an interview with Flicks and Bits, the 50-year-old actor talked openly about why he was drawn to Oblivion. Here’s Cruise:
Jack is a futuristic blue collar guy, basically. At the start of the film he believes he’s the last man on Earth. He’s a guy who fixes drones and he’s in charge of security for the resource gatherers and those big machines that are gathering up Earth’s sea water, to be utilized for the new colony on Titan. And that’s his job, everyday he goes down to Earth while Victoria stays in the Skytower and he’s essentially just fixing the drones and trying to not get killed (laughs). But Jack, he feels such a pull to Earth, that this is his home – I think that’s a big theme in the film: what is your home?
From the film’s Sky Tower to Jack’s Bubble Ship, Cruise was engaged with every aspect of the film. Oblivion also gave Tom Cruise another opportunity to perform his own stunts, which is a rare thing to see with a celebrity of his stature. Cruise continues:
That was awesome! With the Skytower, not acting with green screen does help as an actor. It’s interactive, so it was without a doubt the most beautiful and peaceful set I’ve ever shot on. This natural lighting became our lighting. With the clouds projected all around us, it gave the set a very ethereal, yet organic, feeling. It’s so vast and so beautiful, hauntingly beautiful. The aesthetic is so cool.
Then with the Moto Bike, it’s a tricky design because when I was riding there were moments that I had to carry Olga. The guys that designed this did a sensational job with not just the look of it, but changing the balance of the bike. Since I was doing jumps and running through Iceland, it had to be safe enough for me to travel at very high speeds without a helmet. I know it was tricky for them to figure out the balance of that bike, and I had a blast riding it.
Everything we’ve seen from Oblivion looks good, but the early reviews suggest it’s only a small step up from Tron: Legacy. Let’s just hope there’s something more to Oblivion than flashy visuals.
Oblivion will hit theaters everywhere on April 19th, in IMAX.