Why Haven’t We Gotten an ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ Sequel?


The Big Picture

  • Despite low expectations, Edge of Tomorrow delivered a clever and unique thrill ride with glowing reviews starring Emily Blunt and Tom Cruise.
  • The film’s underwhelming box office performance made a sequel seem unlikely, but its critical acclaim and passionate fan base laid the foundation for one.
  • The sequel has faced major obstacles, including busy schedules and various delays, but the stars’ commitment remains the key factor in determining its production.

As Edge of Tomorrow approached its theatrical release, audiences had valid reasons to be skeptical. Inspired by the Hiroshi Sakurazaka graphic novel All You Need is Kill, the Doug Liman-directed sci-fi epic bore a resemblance to Tom Cruise‘s previous film, Oblivion, in which he went toe-to-toe with malevolent alien lifeforms. It featured an arguably gimmicky time loop plot device that saw Cruise’s character living the same day repeatedly. And per the summer blockbuster model, it was simply yet another big-budget spectacle full of otherworldly threats, kinetic action, and ambitious visual effects and set pieces.

But upon its debut in June 2014, Edge of Tomorrow exceeded expectations in delivering a clever, unique, and tightly wound thrill ride that toyed with convention and breathed new life into seemingly tired premises. Praise among critics and viewers was nearly unanimous, and it wasn’t long before diehard fans began speculating about the possibility of a sequel. Nearly a decade after hitting theaters, however, Edge of Tomorrow appears no closer to getting the follow-up fans are hungry for, which begs the question, will we ever get another glimpse of Major William Cage (Tom Cruise) and Sergeant Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt) going to war with aliens?

Edge of Tomorrow

When Earth falls under attack from invincible aliens, no military unit in the world is able to beat them. Maj. William Cage (Tom Cruise), an officer who has never seen combat, is assigned to a suicide mission. Killed within moments, Cage finds himself thrown into a time loop, in which he relives the same brutal fight — and his death — over and over again. However, Cage’s fighting skills improve with each encore, bringing him and a comrade (Emily Blunt) ever closer to defeating the aliens.

Release Date
May 27, 2014

Doug Liman

Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Brendan Gleeson, Bill Paxton, Jonas Armstrong, Tony Way

113 minutes

‘Edge of Tomorrow’s Box Office Performance Made a Sequel Seem Unlikely

In the weeks leading up to its release, Edge of Tomorrow was predicted to be on thin ice regarding its box office prospects. Despite Tom Cruise’s star power, industry insiders foresaw multiple factors that would potentially work against the film. With its combined production and marketing budgets approaching a massive $300 million, Edge of Tomorrow would need to pull off a hefty and leggy theatrical run. On the surface, the film didn’t appear to be all that different when compared to other sci-fi action films chronicling human resistance to an alien invasion. And in a summer jam-packed with other major releases, Cruise’s latest effort faced formidable competition in addition to being marred by a perceived sense of obscurity in its marketing, with analyst Doug Creutz observing, “Nobody really knows what this film is.”

Per Variety, Edge of Tomorrow was expected to bring in an underwhelming $30 million over its domestic opening weekend, with Warner Bros. hoping it would fare better in international territories where Tom Cruise was, in recent years, a bigger draw than in North America. But even $30 million proved an ambitious bar to reach when the film took in a measly $28 million domestically in addition to $20 million in 28 international territories. It would ultimately close its theatrical run with just over $100 million in North America and a worldwide total of $370 million, falling significantly short of the numbers Warner Bros. hoped for after investing nearly $300 million into the film.

As Hollywood’s business model isn’t known (with few exceptions) for green-lighting tentpole sequels based solely on audience appreciation rather than box office numbers, the notion of Edge of Tomorrow getting a follow-up initially seemed like a long shot at best. But despite the film’s mediocre performance in theaters, its glowing reception among critics and viewers, coupled with enthusiastic word of mouth, laid the foundation for a crowd-pleaser that would endure and grow a passionate fan base for years to come.

An ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ Sequel Was Announced in 2015

Emily Blunt and Tom Cruise going into the first battle in Edge of Tomorrow
Image via Warner Bros.

In December 2015, Edge of Tomorrow‘s co-writer and frequent Tom Cruise collaborator, Christopher McQuarrie, announced that an idea for a sequel was in the works. “I don’t know what I can say,” he told Collider. “I can only say it’s a going concern.” Though fans rejoiced in McQuarrie’s vague but promising statements, his announcement marked the beginning of a years-long development process that has yet to fully materialize. A few months later, it was announced director Doug LIman was working with writers Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse on a screenplay, which he claimed would serve as a sequel and a prequel.

In Spring 2017, Liman elaborated on the project and declared it would be titled Live Die Repeat and Repeat (later shortened to the director’s preferred Live Die Repeat). He excitedly told Collider, “We have an amazing story! It’s incredible! Way better than the first film, and I obviously loved the first film. Tom is excited about it, and Emily Blunt is excited about it. The big question is just when we’ll do it. But it’s not an if, it’s a when.” This was music to fans’ ears, further bolstered by Liman’s ambition to take the concept of a sequel in a bold new direction. He promised the film would “revolutionize” the way sequels are made and fulfill “radical” ideas he’d been harboring over how to make one. But despite the collective enthusiasm surrounding the proposed follow-up, the stars have proven difficult to align in bringing it to the screen.

Busy Schedules Have Been a Major Problem For ‘Edge of Tomorrow’s Sequel

As work on Live Die Repeat progressed, numerous cooks in the proverbial kitchen contributed to its development. In 2018, Doug Liman confirmed that Edge of Tomorrow co-writer, Jez Butterworth, would be returning to work on the sequel’s screenplay. Once again speaking with Collider, Liman reiterated the story was “amazing” and that he and his collaborators were “figuring out if it’s actually feasible to do.” The same year, while discussing her turn as the titular character in 2018’s Mary Poppins Returns, Emily Blunt commented on the sequel’s status when she told Indiewire, “Tom was like, ‘Can you go this autumn?’ and I was like, ‘No, I can’t go, I’m playing Mary Poppins for like a year, dude!'”

In March 2019, it was announced that yet another writer had come on board. Per The Hollywood Reporter, Matthew Robinson, co-writer of The Invention of Lying, Monster Trucks, and Dora and the Lost City of Gold, had been tapped to take a crack at the film’s screenplay. But as Tom Cruise was transitioning from Top Gun: Maverick to the next Mission: Impossible installment and Emily Blunt was busy battling a different kind of enemy with A Quiet Place: Part II, Live Die Repeat would be delayed once more. That delay would be compounded a year later as the world was dealt a major blow by the COVID-19 pandemic, and when he checked in with Collider in early 2021, Doug Liman revealed that Cruise and Blunt’s jam-packed schedules were the primary hindrance to the sequel’s production.” The stars are the gatekeepers,” he confirmed. “If you can get Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt to commit to the movie, it’s going to happen.”

An ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ Sequel Remains a Question Mark

Rita and Ron facing each other in Edge of Tomorrow
Image via Warner Bros. Pictures

The latest mention of the sequel came recently courtesy of Emily Blunt, with the actress proclaiming she is “so ready,” but reiterating that Tom Cruise’s commitment to the Mission: Impossible franchise was an ongoing obstacle. “I mean, I would love to make it a reality, but I just don’t know when or how,” she confided. “And how many Mission Impossibles does he need?” That’s certainly a fair question considering the action star is showing no signs of slowing down on regularly engaging in death-defying antics as superspy Ethan Hunt. While one can safely assume that Cruise and Liman are still excited about the prospect of a sequel, the fact remains that each man has a slate of other projects in the works and has remained publicly silent on Live Die Repeat for quite some time.

On the bright side, while audiences wait with eager anticipation over the prospect of a follow-up, appreciation for Edge of Tomorrow is growing stronger. Look no further than acclaimed filmmaker Barry Jenkins, who took to Twitter to rave about the film years after its release. “EDGE OF TOMORROW totally holds up,” he exclaimed. “What a straight up FANTASTIC film! So relieved to find myself in the same state of awe upon revisiting. Hot DAMN.” Despite that kind of high praise, a sequel would be unthinkable without the powerhouse trifecta of Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, and Doug Liman, so fans of the 2014 gem will have to cross their fingers and hope that the busy schedules of everyone – ahem, Mr. Cruise – involved will eventually make room for another thrilling time-warped battle against alien mimics.

Watch Edge of Tomorrow on Hulu in the U.S.

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