What do Tom Cruise and WALL-E have in common? A few things: they both have bad cases of pre-apocalypse Earth nostalgia, they're both tasked with cleaning up others' trash, and they're both at the center of world-changing sci-fi conspiracies.
Those are some of the takeaway lessons from the first trailer for "Oblivion," the upcoming science fiction action-thriller from "Tron Legacy" director Joseph Kosinski. Based on his own original graphic novel, Kosinski's "Oblivion" takes place sixty years after an alien invasion on Earth. Though humanity was able to fight back the invading threat, their planet was left in ruins. "Everyone's been evacuated; nothing human remains," Cruise's hero, Jack Harper, explains in the trailer.
Harper is one of a very few remaining drone repairmen working to salvage natural resources for the human population living off the surface. His mission is two weeks away from completion, which might explain why he's feeling so much nostalgia for a world he never truly knew.
"The last Super Bowl was played right here," Harper remembers while standing in the destroyed remains of an old football stadium. "It was a classic game: 80,000 people on their feet, seconds left on the clock, the QB throws a Hail Mary... touchdown!"
Just like that "classic game," Harper makes a discovery of his own with only seconds left on his proverbial clock: during a subterranean search, he's captured by a secret sect of Earth-dwellers, led by a man in sunglasses, played by Morgan Freeman. "I've been watching you, Jack," he says. "You've been curious. What are you looking for in those books? Do they bring back old memories? Don't ask too many questions..."
As if on cue, Harper, now freed, finds a crash site filled with pods — pods carrying human bodies. Inside one such pod is a beautiful woman who knows his name. When he attempts to defend her from unknown forces, Harper quickly finds himself on the wrong side of authority, pushed deeper into a conspiracy he never knew existed.
"Earth is a memory worth fighting for," the trailer ominously teases. We'll see if we agree when "Oblivion" hits theaters on April 12, 2013.
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