Tom Cruise Stays In Sci-Fi With Warner Bros’ ‘Yukikaze’ After Big ‘Oblivion’ Bow Abroad

EXCLUSIVE: With a $61 million opening weekend overseas on Universal Pictures’ Oblivion, who could blame Tom Cruise for wanting to stay in science fiction mode? He’s just made a deal to become attached to star in Yukikaze, a big-scale film based on a series of Japanese sci-fi novels by Chohei Kambayashi. Warner Bros acquired the novel series and will finance and distribute. The author has been called Japan’s answer to Isaac Asimov, and the film will be produced by 3 Arts’ Erwin Stoff and Tom Lassally, who developed and produced the sci-fi film All You Need Is Kill that Cruise starred in for Warner Bros and director Doug Liman. Viz Media’s Jason Hoffs will also be producing.

Yukikaze unfolds in the early 21st Century, three decades after the alien force JAM invaded earth through a dimensional porthole that appeared over Antarctica. While humans beat back the attack, they form a special combat force to eradicate the alien threat on its home planet.

This gets added to several other projects for Cruise. He’s working with Christopher McQuarrie on another installment of Mission: Impossible, as well as a second installment of the Lee Child novel series based on Jack Reacher that’s also being done with McQuarrie for Paramount and Skydance. In addition, he’s in talks to star for director Guy Ritchie in a Warner Bros film based on the classic TV series The Man From U.N.C.L.E. He’s repped by CAA.

Universal opens Oblivion in the U.S. this Friday.

Comments (55)

  • Was hoping this film would have a different take on alien invasion…

    Like lustfest.

    Comment by exciting prize — Monday April 15, 2013 @ 4:47pm PDT  
  • Tom Cruise should be pursuing quality indie films, to show the world that he still has acting talent and range. Who is representing him ?!

    Comment by jt — Monday April 15, 2013 @ 4:58pm PDT  
    • Cruise doesn’t have to prove anything. He should choose projects that attract him, period.

      Comment by Anonymous — Monday April 15, 2013 @ 5:30pm PDT  
    • Tom Cruise DOES NOT need to pursue INDIE FILMS to show the world that he still has acting talent an range. He has been nominated for an Oscar twice. Tom Cruise does not need to prove anything to anyone. Tom Cruise has been a Movie Star for 30 years and continues to make movies that have huge box office grosses. The man is an icon. He is a legend. He has weathered a lot of storms and has stood the test of time. He is represented by CAA.

      Comment by USC Film Student — Tuesday April 16, 2013 @ 12:01am PDT  
  • High concept, big action/VFX Sci fi is the last refuge of fading stars. Such movies don’t “need” stars. Concept/digital eye candy keeps the grosses high, giving the illusion the fading star is still “A list”.

    Comment by realitycheck — Monday April 15, 2013 @ 5:04pm PDT  
    • I’m guessing studios won’t care, but calling this writer “Japan’s answer to Isaac Asimov” sounds almost absurd. One of the threads that ran through (almost) all of Asimov’s novels and arcs is that humans are alone in the universe except for the thinking robots we make, and one of Asimov’s last books, “Nemesis,” makes the case explicitly in a late chapter, when the rich guy laments that as humans spread through the galaxy they will just re-live and re-enact the same human struggles/dramas/disasters again and again. Dealing with that in a movie really would be “high concept.” Fighting off aliens and taking the fight to their world is just more comic book crap. Sorry to talk about novels. I wanted to get that off my chest because they brought up a really good and kind of unique old-school writer in Asimov.

      Comment by markLouis — Monday April 15, 2013 @ 5:43pm PDT  
      • Mark, I understand where you’re coming from, but it’s safer to say that Kambayashi has been favorably compared to Phillip K. Dick. And he is a big deal in Japanese SF–he’s been listed in the top three for the best science fiction writers in Japan. I’ve read YUKIKAZE and liked it very much–it’s probably one of the best SF novels I’ve read, and I say this as a fan of Asimov. For me, to compare Kambayashi to Asimov is a _good_ thing. If it upset you, well, can’t do much about that. My suggestion? Try reading the novel and its sequel and decide.

        Comment by Marc McKenzie — Tuesday April 16, 2013 @ 12:55pm PDT  
        • Right, Kambayashi himself is a big fan of PKD. It’s really interesting to see his works translated and published by Haikasoru.

          Comment by Lanceliel — Tuesday April 16, 2013 @ 1:40pm PDT  
        • I’m not upset, and every generation will always present their own view of the human struggle with everything. However, I’m dubious about this story. And going from an Asimov to a PKD comparison just adds a layer to the absurdity, those two being so different. However, I’d be dubious about the PKD comparison, anyway, since Philip K. Dick wrote “Clans of the Alphane Moon” which dealt with ALL these same issues and it was, in a PKD way, a warm, up-lifting and loving story, not about soldiers killing and dying, and existential darkness. Go figure.

          Comment by markLouis — Tuesday April 16, 2013 @ 2:18pm PDT  
      • Please stop judging a story just by the introduction of its film adaption. Believe me it’s definitely not what comes to your mind.
        YUKIKAZE has won the Seiun Award(Japanese equivalent to the Hugo Award) twice, and in a 2006 SF Magazine poll its writer Ch?hei Kambayashi was ranked third best Japanese SF writer of all time. He has won the Seiun Award for seven times.
        The aliens in this story, being named JAM, is NOT the very core of the series. Actually you never know what they really are even if you finish the three books(so far). Instead, the relationship between AIs and humans and the definition of humanity plays a big part. You see characters are frustrated facing a seemingly endless war, unknown enemies, untrusty friend forces and their own identity sinking into oblivion. Yes, those who fight on the planet Feary are forgotten by people on Earth because the war has lasted for over 30 years and the younger generation on Earth tends to think of this war as a science-fiction instead of a real war in real life, because this war is fought in another planet.
        YUKIKAZE, our hero’s recon fighter, holds an AI which is born to kill the JAM. Sometimes it kills or hurts its pilots due to the ultimate maneuverability. And Lt. Rei Fukai, our hero, is attached to a “Special Air Force” squadron whose ultimate mission is to collect data from the front line and safely bring it back to the HQ for strategic analysis, which means in the battlefield those pilots could do nothing but watch their brothers to die.
        There are countless SF stories about fighting aliens, but YUKIKAZE is just something different.

        Comment by Anonymous — Tuesday April 16, 2013 @ 12:59pm PDT  
      • If you have read the YUKIKAZE books you would know that “fighting off aliens” is not the core of the story but merely a stage. The show on this stage pays more attention on the relationship between AIs and humans, the definition of “being human”, and a discussion about organizations and society.
        Its writer, Ch?hei Kambayash, was ranked third best Japanese SF writer of all time in a 2006 SF Magazine poll.

        Comment by Lanceliel — Tuesday April 16, 2013 @ 1:18pm PDT  
        • Writer’s name is Chohei Kambayashi. The webpage seems to have problems showing Romaji.

          Comment by L — Tuesday April 16, 2013 @ 1:22pm PDT  
    • Um… you’re kidding right? Because Battleship and Jack the Giant Killer did so well without “A” list stars?

      Comment by Anonymous — Monday April 15, 2013 @ 6:26pm PDT  
      • no, it’s cause they were written as social commentary with dream-like ethnic characterizations, and all the wrong celebs (Rihanna???). Oh, and they sucked. sorry!

        Comment by Dan Scott — Tuesday April 16, 2013 @ 8:58am PDT  
  • Mr. Cruise seems to be running from something. He is just making movie after movie, seemingly not stopping to breath. Is his life so empty that he’s afraid to take a break? And the movies are not “quality” in any way, shape or form, just one piece of junk after another. If you’re going to work yourself to death, at least make something to be proud of. Also, you have a young daughter you seem to have forgotten about.(Sorry, I’m playing amature psychologist and I’m boring myself.)

    Comment by mslewis — Monday April 15, 2013 @ 5:14pm PDT  
    • Please…

      Comment by Anonymous — Monday April 15, 2013 @ 5:30pm PDT  
    • You’re boring more than just yourself. He’s making 20 mil. plus a movie, and his movies are usually financially successful. Maybe you think he should do Momento or Checkov or something, but you are you?

      Comment by Magnus — Monday April 15, 2013 @ 8:50pm PDT  
    • You are boring everyone else too

      Comment by USC Film Student — Tuesday April 16, 2013 @ 12:02am PDT  
    • Why do you hate so?

      Comment by Matt — Tuesday April 16, 2013 @ 2:25pm PDT  
    • Looks more like he’s running to something…the bank. I don’t understand why so many people feel the need to take swings at the guy. Are you so bitter that you can’t ignore those you don’t like? Is your life so empty that you need to lash out at others? Tom’s movies are good fun and most are quite successful, which is a great thing. When Tom is on a movie, lots of other folks are working and the industry as a whole, benefits. Try being positive…you never know how it may impact your own life.

      Comment by Mark Knell — Tuesday April 16, 2013 @ 4:45pm PDT  
  • These comments are mostly in the realm of self-parody, you know …

    Comment by William Bradley — Monday April 15, 2013 @ 5:42pm PDT  
  • There are too many who wish so badly that Cruises films bomb badly that it’s a borderline unhealthy. The man does what he wants, and his films make money. He doesn’t have to do an indie that most likely will lose money.

    Go ahead Tom. Do your thing.

    Comment by Mohammed — Monday April 15, 2013 @ 5:45pm PDT  
  • He’s trying to turn himself back into a bankable movie star so people will actually go and see his dramatic roles when he does do them. The man needs to work with PT Anderson again ASAP though.

    Comment by Joe W — Monday April 15, 2013 @ 5:49pm PDT  
  • Most of what Cruise does is predicated on big paydays. Why not? The money is there for the taking. Should he suddenly start working with Steve McQueen, Wes Anderson , Terrence Malick or any name brand indie filmmaker and sacrifice the millions he can make through the guidance of CAA or his own tastes. ? But you can have fun with him,e.g., with a mostly dud of a movie like Rock of Ages and appreciate his talent. What he does with it ultimately is his choice. What we want to see is ours. So long live Tom Cruise and the wonder of independent, foreign or any other great movies that will come down the pike from those here or yet to be born.

    Comment by Stephen Kabak — Monday April 15, 2013 @ 5:56pm PDT  
  • Please, not another Cruise turn as Jack Reacher. H isn’t anywhere close to the character as portrayed by the books. It should be someone more like a Ray Stevenson – taciturn, menacing, and big enough to kick ass.

    Comment by Bob the builder — Monday April 15, 2013 @ 6:21pm PDT  
    • Hopefully the Ray doing the guest arc on Dexter and not the GI Joe role (which likely paid a lot more).

      Comment by doubtful — Monday April 15, 2013 @ 7:14pm PDT  
    • “It should be someone more like a Ray Stevenson – taciturn, menacing, and big enough to kick ass.”

      But the producers want hit movies.

      Comment by Ryan S — Monday April 15, 2013 @ 7:16pm PDT  
    • Dont worry Bob/bub. JACK REACHER is dead. Fleming dont know what he talking bout.

      Comment by dont worry Bob — Monday April 15, 2013 @ 8:16pm PDT  
    • Ray Stevenson headlined the last Punisher movie and it tanked.

      Comment by titus pullo — Tuesday April 16, 2013 @ 8:50am PDT  
  • keep it up Tom!..Your movies are fun. movies should be outlets for getting away from real life. we don’t need to pay to see the bullshit all of us go through in our own lives…just please don’t do Man from Uncle….you can never be Napolean Solo.

    Comment by Isa — Monday April 15, 2013 @ 6:24pm PDT  
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