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Joseph Kosinski (born May 3, 1974) is an American television commercial and feature film director best known for his computer graphics and computer generated imagery work. He made his big-screen directorial debut with the Disney Digital 3-D science fiction film Tron: Legacy, the sequel to the 1982 film Tron. His previous work has primarily been with CGI related television commercials including the "Starry Night" commercial for Halo 3[3] and the award-winning "Mad World" commercial for Gears of War.[4]

Joseph Kosinski
Joe Kosinski by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Kosinski at the Comic Con in San Diego, July 22, 2010
Born (1974-05-03) May 3, 1974 (age 44)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.[1]
Occupation Film director, film producer, screenwriter
Years active 1999–present
Home town Marshalltown, Iowa[2]
Spouse(s) Kristin Kosinski


Life and careerEdit

Kosinski was born in Iowa, and raised in Marshalltown, Iowa, the son of Patricia (née Provost) of French-Canadian descent, and Joel Kosinski, a doctor of Polish descent.[2][5][6]

His first major film was the special effects-laden Tron: Legacy.[7][8] Using high-speed digital cameras, such as Vision Research Phantom models, the film was in Disney Digital 3D and IMAX 3D, with a release of December 2010.[9]

After moving to Los Angeles, California, in 2005, he began writing a film treatment which would eventually develop into an unpublished graphic novel by the title Oblivion for Radical Comics.[10] In August 2010, Walt Disney Pictures acquired the rights.[11] William Monahan worked on the screenplay for a film adaptation.[7] In March 2011, it was reported that Karl Gajdusek would rewrite the screenplay.[12] Attempts to keep the film at a PG rating were unsuccessful leading to Disney giving up the rights, which were then acquired by Universal Pictures which agreed to a PG-13 rating. The $120-million-budgeted Oblivion began filming in October 2011, with Tom Cruise in the lead role, and was released in April 2013.[13]

Kosinski was confirmed to direct the third Tron film in early 2015, but in May of the same year it was announced that Disney had canceled the project.[14][15] In June 2017 it was announced he was set to direct the sequel to Top Gun, titled Top Gun: Maverick.[16]

Kosinski has been attached to several as-yet-unmade projects, including remakes of 70s science-fiction films Logan's Run,[17] The Black Hole,[18] the science-fiction film Archangels,[19] The Twilight Zone[20] and an adaptation of the video game series, Gran Turismo.[21]


Kosinski is an alumnus of Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP), currently an adjunct assistant professor of architecture[22] where he helps students in 3D modeling and graphics.[23] In 2008, he spoke in detail about his education in architecture, pushing the technological envelope in commercials and his eventual progression to feature films.[24]


  • 2007 AICP Show – Best Visual Effects for the Gears of War commercial "Mad World"


Year Film Director Producer Writer Notes
2010 Tron: Legacy Yes Directorial debut
2013 Oblivion Yes Yes Yes Based on graphic novel original story
2017 Only the Brave Yes
2019 Top Gun: Maverick Yes Filming
TBA The Twilight Zone Yes
TBA Archangels Yes
TBA Gran Turismo Yes


  1. ^ Director Joseph Kosinski on Tron: Legacy and the Limitations of CGI-Created Actors
  2. ^ a b Barnes, Brooks (December 3, 2010). "Cyberspace Gamble". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. p. AR1. Retrieved December 6, 2010. Raised in Marshalltown, Iowa — population 26,000 — he [Kosinski] is quiet, polite and interested in other people's opinions in a way that is rare in moviedom's major leagues. 
  3. ^ Official website Archived 2009-02-28 at the Wayback Machine. work portfolio.
  4. ^ 2007 AICP Show Best Visual Effects.
  5. ^ The building of a legacy
  6. ^ "Death Notice: CATHERINE JULIA PROVOST". Chicago Tribune. March 14, 2008. 
  7. ^ a b Mottle, Jeff. "Interview with Joe Kosinski (Director of TRON Legacy)". Retrieved February 22, 2011. 
  8. ^ "First Location Shot from 'Tron 2.0'". Robert Falconer. cinemaspy. 2009-04-08. Archived from the original on 2009-09-05. Retrieved 2009-08-11. 
  9. ^ Comic-Con: Tron 2 Retitled TRON Legacy; IMAX 3D; Concept Art and New Scene Revealed. Posted on Thursday, July 23rd, 2009 by Peter Sciretta on SlashFilm
  10. ^ Joseph Kosinski On Oblivion
  11. ^ Frappier, Rob (August 4, 2010). "Disney Acquires The Rights to Joseph Kosinski's 'Oblivion' [Updated]". Retrieved March 21, 2011. 
  12. ^ Kit, Borys (March 16, 2011). "Karl Gajdusek Tapped to Re-Write Disney's Horizons (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 21, 2011. 
  13. ^ Fleming, Mike (May 20, 2011). "Tom Cruise Commits To $100 Million Universal Sci-Fi Pic 'Oblivion' For Fall". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 21, 2011. 
  14. ^ "'TRON: Legacy' Director Joseph Kosinski Will Return For 'TRON 3′". 
  15. ^ "Disney Not Moving Forward With 'Tron 3' (Exclusive)". 
  16. ^ "Paramount Sets 'Top Gun 2' For July 2019; Joseph Kosinski Firmed For Tom Cruise Pic". Deadline.con. June 30, 2017. 
  17. ^ Warner Bros. Bets on Kosinski for 'Logan's Run' Archived 2009-09-04 at the Wayback Machine., by Chris McKeown, on 22-08-2007, Sci Fi Updates website.
  18. ^ Black Hole remake by Tron Team
  19. ^ "Agents Hunt Down Disguised Aliens in 'Archangels'". 
  20. ^ 'Tron' Helmer Joseph Kosinski to Direct 'Twilight Zone' Film (Exclusive)
  21. ^ "Joseph Kosinski Eyes Adaptation of Videogame 'Gran Turismo' at Sony". 
  22. ^ "Faculty listing at Columbia GSAP website". Archived from the original on 2009-09-04. 
  23. ^ Beyond the Blob—Digital Technology in Columbia's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, from Columbia Interactive.
  24. ^ 5D Future of Immersive Design Conference

External linksEdit