An imagined conversation between Tom Cruise and director Joseph Kosinski soon after the release of Tron Legacy:
Joseph: Hey, Tom! How’s it going?
Tom: Sorry… who are you?
Joseph: I’m Joseph Kosinski. I directed that fuck-awful Tron reboot that just came out. Made a sweet shitload of money on it.
Tom: Oh awesome! How’s it going, man?
Joseph: It’s going great! How ’bout you and your utterly ridiculous notions of so-called ‘science’?
Tom: Can’t complain, buddy! Right now I’m trying to locate the weird tooth right in the middle of my face that those internet jokers have started going on about. Have you seen those, what’re they called? Memes? Ha! Those jokers! I love ’em! What can I do for you?
Joseph: Well, Tom, it’s funny you asked. I’m thinking about my next feature project and it might just be the vehicle to relaunch your flagging career. You know, that last flurry of action roles before you settle into a series of cringe-worthy comedy cameos and utterly diminishing returns.
Tom: …what do you mean, James?
Joseph: It’s Joseph. And forget about it. What I meant to say is, I’d LOVE to work with you. It’d be just AWESOME. And I have this idea which is WAY COOL.
Tom: Man, that sounds awesome. What is it? Do I play a guy who grins a shitload? Or is it, y’know, one of those ‘serious’ arty pictures? I did Eyes Wide Shut and Magnolia remember. I can do those pictures.
Joseph: No, fuck that shit. It’s a sci-fi picture. A blockbuster. Right up your street. Remember how you did Minority Report and The Day After Tomorrow?
Tom: …I didn’t do The Day After Tomorrow, Jack. I think you’re thinking of War of The Worlds.
Joseph: It’s Joseph, actually. And you’re right. Of course you’re right, you’re Tom Cruise!
Joseph: I know, right? So anyways, it’s this big sci-fi blockbuster. And it’s based on this graphic novel, that I wrote too!
Tom: That sounds way cool. Can I read it?
Joseph: …no. It’s not finished yet. I don’t know if I’ll even get it published. But it IS way cool. And I want you to be my main man, Tom.
Tom: Okay, I’m listening. What’s the situation?
Joseph: Well, the idea is that a few years from now an alien civilisation comes to Earth…
Tom: I like it!
Joseph: But wait Tom, there’s more!
Joseph: Yeah. There’s this big war.
Tom: A war of the worlds?
Joseph: Yeah… No! It’s not like that.
Tom: Like Independence Day?
Joseph: No! Not like that either. We don’t really see the war… It’s not about that. The movie’s set 60 years after the war. And you play Jack Harper.
Tom: Wow, I like that name.
Joseph: I know, sounds cool doesn’t he? All the great American heroes are called Jack, you know.
Tom: I know, John.
Joseph: …it’s Joseph, actually.
Joseph: So, anyways, you play Jack Harper, and he’s a sort of custodian. What happened was, the human race won the war with the aliens, called ‘scavengers’, but in the process nuked the planet to shit. It became barely inhabitable. So all the people have left. There’s an orbiting space station called The Tet. It’s a sort of way-station for humanity where everyone gets ferried off to our new home on Titan, right? But your job is to stay on Earth with your partner – we’ll try to get Christina Hendricks from Mad Men, but failing that we’ll see who’s available – and run maintenance on these robots called drones as part of an effort to maintain a steady power supply from our dying planet.
Tom: Oh, so its got an environmental side, like Avatar?
Joseph: No, Tom! It’s not like any other sci-fi film! Okay? It’s definitely not. Well… But definitely not the ones you’ve said already, okay?
Tom: Okay, I’m sorry.
Joseph: It’s not like any video games either!
Tom: I didn’t mention…
Joseph: Well it’s not!
Tom: You’re getting kind of defensive here, Jason.
Joseph: It’s Joseph! And I’m not getting defensive! It’s just… Will you listen to what happens?
Tom: Sure thing. Go ahead.
Joseph: So… Your character Jack. His day-to-day job is following the company rules. He’s this hot-shot pilot.
Tom: Like Top Gun?
Joseph: No, not like Top Gun. A little bit cocky, sure. I know you like riffing on that, but definitely not Top Gun cocky. Besides, he’s got this wicked futuristic speedbike too, but not like Tron. Definitely not. And for the first half of the movie it’s just him and his partner who stays in the control tower. Warding off the ‘scavengers’. Repairing the drones.
Tom: Oh, I LOVED Wall-E. We could call it Tomm-E! Man, that’d be SWEET. Could I be like a cyborg?
Joseph: Will you stop interrupting, Tom? There’s more, okay? I didn’t mention that Jack’s been having these dreams. Dreams of a life he can’t remember because all employees have their memories wiped.
Tom: So it’s like Total Recall?
Joseph: … … … ~sighs~ Then, then you see, this spaceship crashes. And this woman from Jack’s dreams, she’s in the spaceship, in like hypersleep or stasis. But we’ll call it something else so people don’t think we’re –
Tom: Ripping off other sci-fi movies?
Joseph: Right. And then, when she wakes up [xxxx xx x xxxx xxxxx xx xxxx xxxx. xxxxxxx xx x xxx xxxx x xxx xxxx xxx xxx, xxxx xxxx xxxxxxx x xxxxxx xx xxx xxxx. xxx xxxx xx xxxxxx. xxxxx xxxx, xxxx, xxxx x xx x xxxxx x xx x xxxx xxx xxxxx, xx, xx xxxx xxx xxxxx x xx xxx xxxx xx xxx xxxxxxxx. xx xxxxx xxxxx xx xxxxxxx x xxxx xxxx x xxxx xxxx x xxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxx x xxxx xxxxx x xx xx xx xxxxx xx. xxxx xxxxxx xx xxx xxxx xxxxx xxx xx xxxx xxxx, xxx xxxx xxxxx xx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxx xx xx. xxxx! xxx x xx xxx x xxxxxxxx xxx x xxxx xx x xx xx, xxx x xxxx, xx xxx. xxxxxxx xxxx xx x xxxxx. xxxx!]*
Tom: Like a great big Quality Street!?
Tom: I like it. But does that all hold together, Jim? I mean, I’m thinking about it right now, and aren’t there some plot holes in there? You know, if you think about it?
Joseph: No-one’s going to care about that! Didn’t you see Tron Legacy? First and foremost I’ll make it look the fuckin’ bomb! CG the shit out of it, do some token shots of desolated American landmarks, throw in a token high-speed chase –
Tom: Like The Phantom Menace?
Joseph: – throw in a token high-speed chase, get that Olga Kurylenko to play your love interest… you get two love interests by the way.
Joseph: Where was I? Oh yeah, CG the shit out of it, throw in a high-speed chase, two love interests, some twists and turns and a bombastic, intrusive score by whoever’s hot property right now, like that M83 maybe, and BAM! no-one’s going to care about plot holes!
Tom: …I dunno, Jeff. I wouldn’t want to associate myself with an inferior product…
Joseph: Are you kidding me? Have you watched Far And Away recently?
Tom: That’s a low blow, Jay.
Joseph: It’s JOSEPH!!!!! And anyway, we’re not making 2001: A Space Odyssey here. Although I may throw in a few references. You know, for the fans. The point is, we’re not making a masterpiece. This isn’t ‘cinema’. This is goin’ to the movies. It’s popcorn, thrills, guns, action, a little romance and enough-but-not-too-much hard sci-fi. What do you say?
Tom: Is it definitely going to be better than Tron Legacy?
Joseph: For all our sakes I fuckin’ hope so.
Tom: …I dunno. Sounds like it flies in the face of Scientology. My beliefs, man.
Joseph: I’m not touching that one.
Tom: … I don’t know…
Joseph: Morgan Freeman’s already said yes.
Tom: Well, why didn’t you say so!? I’m in!
Joseph: AWESOME! By the way, have you seen that film Moon by Davie Bowie’s son…?
* deleted for including plot spoilers