By all accounts, Tron: Legacy looks like a sure bet. The buzz is huge, the visuals are incredible, and every little detail from the music by Daft Punk to the terrific casting all but scream “major box office hit.”
With so much excitement, it’s easy to forget that Tron: Legacy is a gi-normous gamble on Disney’s part. They’ve placed a giant budget and a beloved brand into the hands of an unknown director who’s never directed a full-length movie before. He’s never even directed so much as a half-hour comedy for television. So who is Joseph Kosinski, and why does Disney have so much confidence in him?
Very little is known about Kosinski’s past, except that he’s a trained architect and designer. But instead of going into architecture, he took his training and a natural talent for computer rendering and turned them into a unique kind of training for video and film. His work shows off an effortlessly clean aesthetic with a strong eye for symmetry and computer- and video game-style elements that are completely integrated into the worlds he creates on film.
Kosinski first appeared on the radar when Wired picked up on a speculative video he created that imagined the future of Apple’s iPod brand — a video that features a fully-CGI environment that looks startlingly realistic. From there, Kosinski went on to film a number of super-slick, high-impact commercial spots for the likes of Saab, Lincoln, Chevrolet, Hummer, and Nike, among others. Most recently, he rose to a new level of fame after directing some impressive, fan-favorite promo videos for Halo 3 and the Gears of War video games.
Below, I’ve pasted Kosinski’s entire library of pre-Tron work, including all of the videos and short films mentioned below (they’re low-res, but give you an idea of what Kosinski can do). Have a look, and then read about what the future holds for this major new talent…
Disney is so impressed with his work that the studio is reportedly hoping to launch a new franchise around the Tron brand, with more movies, a TV show, comic books, and video games already in the works. As for Kosinski himself, his next project finds him once again working for Disney to create a reimagined big-screen version of the scifi classic, The Black Hole. Various news reports have also connected him to a long-in-development-hell remake of Logan’s Run and a scifi flick called Archangels. Last year, he teamed with comic book house Radical Publishing to create a comic book called Oblivion, which he already has in development as yet another project on his packed schedule.