Monday, July 27, 2009

Who is Joseph Kosinski?

Beyond being named the director of TRON: Legacy, there isn't much known about Joseph Kosinski. I did a little digging and was delighted to learn that he created one of the best videogame commercials in recent memory, for Gears of War. Contrasting the violence of the shooter against Tears for Fears' Mad World grabbed my attention the first time I saw it:



Though this tells us something of the restraint we might expect from Kosinski, it tells us altogether nothing of what kind of director he will make. Like my friend Andy, however, this does not concern me too much: there is a great tradition of quality directors coming over from the realm of commercials, David Fincher, Ridley Scott, and Tarsem among them.

I have to admit feeling a little giddy. When googling "Joseph Kosinski", the first page of search results includes his LinkedIn account! Being an optimist at heart, I hope we are getting in at the ground floor of a great director getting his start.

Here's some other tidbits about the film, taken from an encounter with Kosinski last October:

1) Steven Lisberger (writer/director of TRON) is involved as a consultant. Kosinski couldn't be happier about this. He mentioned that Lisberger (and, presumably, Syd Mead) initially wanted the light cycles to have external riders, but they couldn't convincingly pull it off with the technology of the early eighties. So the light cycles you see in the San Diego Comic Con footage reflects Lisberger's original design.

2) The Comic Con teaser was shot in stereoscopic 3D, and the film will be, too. Kosinski is particularly excited about the look of the game grid in this format.

3) Shooting TRON: Legacy will be a "twenty-four month" process, but Kosinski's already been at it for a while now. He didn't give me an exact date, but he seems confident that the movie will be ready for late 2010.

4) WATCHMEN's Michael Wilkinson is designing the costumes.

That last bit doesn't exactly thrill me, and from the footage we've seen so far it looks like characters are in pseudo-leather jumpsuits, a long way from the skinotards and bike helmets of the first film. So long as they don't look too much like X-Men refugees, my complaints will be minor.

Also noteworthy is the sequel's writers, Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz. This writing team has made a good mark on the television series, Lost, having authored some of my favorite episodes. What I've enjoyed most about their teleplays has been the strong dialogue and character development, and I'm hoping these will be prominent features of the film.