Joseph Kosinski

Joseph Kosinski Biography

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 and the award-winning "Mad World" commercial for Gears of War.

Life and career

Kosinski was born in Iowa, and raised in Marshalltown, Iowa, the son of Patricia (ne Provost) of French-Canadian descent, and Joel Kosinski, a doctor of Polish descent.

His first major film was the special effects-laden Tron: Legacy. 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.

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moving to Los Angeles, California, in 2005, he began writing a film treatment which would eventually develop into an unpublished graphic novel by the title Oblivion for Radical Comics. In August 2010, Walt Disney Pictures acquired the rights. William Monahan worked on the screenplay for a film adaptation. In March 2011, it was reported that Karl Gajdusek would rewrite the screenplay. 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.

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. In June 2017 it was announced he was set to direct the sequel to Top Gun, titled Top Gun: Maverick.

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


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


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


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

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