Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman says that the upcoming sequel will not only complete the franchise, it will also introduce a third primary human player into the mix. Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt are already lined up to reprise their respective roles as futuristic U.S. military fighters Bill Cage and Rita Vrataski in Edge of Tomorrow 2 (also currently known as Live Die Repeat and Repeat), via a storyline that Liman has described as "a sequel that's a prequel." What exactly that means remains to be revealed, though it presumably has to do with the sci-fi, day-resetting plot devices that were introduced in the first Edge of Tomorrow movie.
Screenwriters Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse (Race) are currently working on the Edge of Tomorrow 2 script, with Edge of Tomorrow's Oscar-winning co-writer-turned frequent Cruise collaborator, Christopher McQuarrie expected to also be involved in some creative capacity. Liman, meanwhile, has been keeping busy of late promoting his minimalist action/thriller The Wall (which hit U.S. theaters late last month) and thus, has presented the press with an opportunity to pick his brains about the developing Edge of Tomorrow sequel.
While speaking on the MTV HSC Podcast, Liman confirmed that the Edge of Tomorrow sequel will not only be "smaller" than its predecessor in a manner of speaking, it will also introduce a third key character into the story proceedings:
“I think what people tend to do with sequels is they just make them bigger. And I’m like, ‘No, a sequel should be smaller.’ You did the first film as sort of the ad campaign for the sequel, so now you don’t need as much action, and in the case of Edge of Tomorrow, people obviously loved the comedy and they loved the situation... So we can do way more focus on Tom’s character and Emily Blunt’s character, and there’s a third character in the sequel that’s gonna for sure steal the movie. We can focus on that. I don’t need an action sequence every two minutes."
As an extension of his commitment to keeping things "smaller" in Edge of Tomorrow 2, Liman informed MTV that he currently has no plans to further continue the franchise with an Edge of Tomorrow 3 (and beyond):
“I see this as a two-movie franchise; there’s the completion of the story we set up in the first movie and the relationships between Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt—because, remember, at the end of the first movie, she doesn’t know who he is—and that’s gonna launch us into an amazing new direction. It does pick up right where we left off, but it doesn’t keep going forward, because we’d screw with time, because the aliens screwed with time.”
An Edge of Tomorrow sequel that truly book-ends the first movie - tying off its dangling plot threads and bringing its overarching narrative/themes to a satisfying conclusion - sounds all the more enticing, given the current Hollywood tentpole climate. Most sequels to genre movies nowadays are green-lit with the intention of giving rise to either a third installment (see, for example, how talk of Kingsman 3 has already begun ahead of Kingsman: The Golden Circle's release this fall) or kicking off a cinematic universe (a la how June's The Mummy, starring Cruise, serves as the beginning of Universal's Dark Universe). If the idea is for Edge of Tomorrow 2 to compliment the events that transpired during the original movie - no more, no less - then it comes as a welcome change of pace, in this respect.
As for when Edge of Tomorrow 2 will be starting production: Cruise is currently filming Mission: Impossible 6 and has announced his intention to begin production on Top Gun 2 within the year, while Liman is set to begin filming the Chaos Walking adaptation this summer. The Edge of Tomorrow sequel may be on both of their to-do lists after that (especially now that Liman is no longer attached to direct Justice League Dark down the line), so stay tuned for additional updates on that front in the months ahead.