Nearly five years ago, stars Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt, writer Christopher McQuarrie, and director Doug Liman made one of the most entertaining blockbusters of the decade. EDGE OF TOMORROW featured Cruise and Blunt as soldiers caught up in a war between humans and aliens — but Cruise’s character is also caught in a time loop that has him reliving the same day over and over. Yep, it was GROUNDHOG DAY meets STARSHIP TROOPERS.
After years of speculation and talk about a possible sequel, EDGE OF TOMORROW 2 is really moving forward. Here’s everything there is to know about the new movie.
Flashback to the Future
Let’s revisit the original movie for a moment. Tom Cruise played Major William Cage, a media relations officer who is busted down to rank private after disobeying an order. Thrown to the front lines of a battle with the so-called “Mimics” — tentacled aliens whose speed is only outmatched by their ferocity — Cage dies almost immediately.
Then, he wakes up on the morning of the day he died. Cage eventually realizes that he’s living the same day over and over again, and as in films like GROUNDHOG DAY and HAPPY DEATH DAY (which came out after EDGE OF TOMORROW), he remembers what has happened on his previous attempts to survive the day.
Cage tracks down star soldier Sergeant Rita Vrataski, played by Emily Blunt, and the two try to figure out how to use Cage’s time-looping power to stop the Mimics from slaughtering the entire population of the Earth. When released in 2014, the original movie didn’t pull in the audience one would expect. Reviews were great, and people who saw EDGE OF TOMORROW seemed to love it — but many people didn’t seem to catch on to what the movie even was, and it was not marketed in a way that highlighted how funny and thrilling a movie it really was. All of which has to do with why a sequel has taken years to develop.
The first rumblings of a potential sequel came in 2015, when Tom Cruise said he had an idea for a sequel. He soon pitched that to director Doug Liman and writer Christopher McQuarrie, who had just directed Cruise in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION and who had also helped write the original EDGE OF TOMORROW.
We’ll outline some of the intermediate steps in a moment, but right now what really matters is that, in early March 2019, Warner Bros. officially put EDGE OF TOMORROW 2 in development. Cruise and Blunt are said to be lined up to return, and director Doug Liman is likely to be back as well. Matthew Robinson is revising the script. If Cruise and the rest of the team like his draft, the movie could move forward quickly.
So, how did we get to this point?
The Edge of Tomorrow 2 Timeline
We’ll do the quick recap version of how we got to this point with EDGE OF TOMORROW 2.
In 2015, Cruise pitched his sequel idea to McQuarrie and Liman. He was adamant about wanting Emily Blunt to return, but she asked for more time before coming back. (That time was well-used, as Blunt made films like SICARIO, THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN, THE QUIET PLACE and MARY POPPINS RETURNS.) And EDGE OF TOMORROW was, by all accounts, a pretty tough shoot. The “exo-suits” worn by Cruise and Blunt were practical, not CG, and they could weigh over 100 pounds with weapons attached. It’s no wonder everyone wanted a break.
In 2016, screenwriters Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse were hired to write the sequel, and then, in October 2016, Doug Liman complicated the matter by explaining that the movie would be “much better than the original film, and I loved and loved the original film — and second of all, it’s a sequel that’s a prequel.”
In 2017, Liman said the sequel would be called LIVE DIE REPEAT AND REPEAT. In 2018, Jez Butterworth was hired to work on the script — he co-wrote the original movie, too. Now flash forward to early 2019, a new writer is hired and Warner Bros. is evidently more interested in the sequel than ever. Is that idea Cruise had back in 2015 still part of the story, and is this still a prequel? Frankly, we don’t know yet!
So, let’s talk about that title.
EDGE OF TOMORROW is based on the Japanese novel “All You Need is Kill” by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, with illustrations by Yoshitoshi ABe. The film adaptation originally retained that title. Speaking about the movie on the MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT commentary, Cruise and McQuarrie both refer to the film by that original title at one point.
Warner Bros. lobbied to change the title to EDGE OF TOMORROW, while director Doug Liman wanted to call the movie LIVE DIE REPEAT. Warner Bros. won, and Liman’s preferred title became the movie’s tagline. When EDGE OF TOMORROW was released to home video, however, it was softly retitled LIVE DIE REPEAT.
And that’s where we come to the sequel. Frankly, LIVE DIE REPEAT AND REPEAT doesn’t sound like the sort of title Warner Bros. would ever commit to, but stranger things do happen. Occasionally. OK, rarely.
The Edge of Tomorrow 2 Story
So, we don’t know much, but Doug Liman has said a few things that give us a few clues about the sequel story. For one, he told Collider, “I had these intellectual ideas on how you should make a sequel that are unlike how anybody else makes a sequel, and this script and this idea fit perfectly into that idea.”
Liman has also said the sequel would be less of a battlefield movie than EDGE OF TOMORROW was. In October 2017, he told Metro the plan was to make the sequel “smaller and smarter” and that the story would be fully finished after the second film. “We’re not making a sequel to start a franchise,” he said. “We realized that our story is not done. We ended the movie with [Rita] not knowing who she is, and Chris McQuarrie came up with a great story, and I can’t wait to make it.”
Come back to the AMC Scene for more EDGE OF TOMORROW 2 updates!