The Tom Cruise sci-fi action sequel Edge of Tomorrow 2 (aka Live Die Repeat and Repeat) is only happening because fans have expressed so much overwhelming affection for the original movie, says director Doug Liman. Though the first Edge of Tomorrow was only a modest box office success (at best), the movie did well with critics and has built up a cult following since its release in 2014.
With Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt in the lead roles and an intriguing premise about a time-looping soldier battling invading aliens, Edge of Tomorrow (which was originally titled Live Die Repeat) looked like a solid box office bet going into the summer of 2014. However, Warner Bros. had trouble marketing the somewhat odd-ball movie to summer audiences looking for straightforward popcorn entertainment and the film wound up taking in only $100 million domestically, making it an unlikely candidate for a sequel. However, a sequel is currently in development with stars Cruise and Blunt both returning.
Speaking to Flickering Myth, the otherwise sequel-averse Liman discussed his reasons for revisiting Edge of Tomorrow, saying he only took on the project because fans pushed for it:
“I was not going to make a sequel to Edge of Tomorrow, I’m not really interested in sequels, I’m interested in trying new things, new places. But we came up with an idea for a sequel that’s so shockingly revolutionary for how a sequel would get made, and it’s so fresh and it’s such a fun story. We only even started talking about a sequel because there was so much fan affection for the movie, that people started asking us about a sequel. There was so much love for the film. It used to be that people come up to me and talked to me about The Bourne Identity. But Edge of Tomorrow is the one that people constantly come up and talk to me about. There’s so much affection for the movie we at least owe looking at it to see if there’s an idea for a sequel and we came an idea that I can’t stop talking about.”
Liman has called Edge of Tomorrow 2 "a sequel that's a prequel," promising the movie will make sense out of the original film's enigmatic ending while also providing a more satisfying arc for Cruise's character (who in the first movie was a tad cowardly). Liman has said a few times that Edge 2 will "revolutionize the way sequels get made," though no one is quite certain what exactly he means by that.
Clearly Liman is excited by the ideas he has in place for Edge 2, but even if the movie ultimately finds its way to theaters, there's no guarantee it won't run into the same marketing issues that stymied the original movie. Edge of Tomorrow's crazy time-looping narrative was originally going to be a big selling-point but the studio elected to back off that idea, fearing audiences were getting confused, and giving the movie a bland re-title - hoping Cruise's name plus the prospect of him battling aliens again would be enough to sell it. (It wasn't.)
The very same loopy narrative that made Edge of Tomorrow so hard for Warner Bros. to market also happens to be one of the things its die-hard fans love about it. By the sound of it, Liman won't be backing off the time-looping structure for Edge of Tomorrow 2, and might be pushing things to become even more wild and complicated and potentially unmarketable. Will Cruise and Liman get it right this time or is Live Die Repeat and Repeat doomed to repeat the first movie's box office missteps?
Source: Flickering Myth