A week after time-traveling blockbuster The Tomorrow War hit Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Studios and Skydance are reportedly discussing a potential sequel. The current plan is for director Chris McKay, screenwriter Zach Dean, and Chris Pratt and all the major supporting players to return, but no cast deals are done yet.
The film was originally set to be released in cinemas by Paramount Pictures, but a combination of the pandemic and possibly Paramount’s apprehension as to whether an expensive original blockbuster not based on any existing IP would perform well at the box office meant that it was sold to Amazon for $200 million.
Amazon has not made any viewership numbers public – and they would be debatable even if they did – but various third-party viewership companies reported high ratings for the film, with Screen Engine’s PostVOD claiming it was the top feature film on streaming platforms over the 4th of July holiday weekend in the U.S.
One has to imagine the film got at least a solid number of eyeballs on it, otherwise Amazon would not be considering a sequel. However, a follow-up is a slightly tricky proposition considering what happened in the film.
Without spoiling it too much, the future set up in The Tomorrow War has been changed, so any sequel would have to change it again, or reveal that the original change didn’t fully work. It’s a film about time travel though, so there are plenty of ways to work around any logistical problems.
Director McKay previously told Variety that he was eager to return to the world of the film and explore where the White Spikes – the aliens in the movie – originated:
“We talked about the world of these creatures, where they came from, how they were created or raised, and how they were maybe being used. I think that a sequel could go in a lot of fun areas and the ethnographic study of the White Spikes in their world and where they came from, and what their purpose was, and all of that kind of thing”.
Movies released straight to streaming mean that we don’t get an obvious barometer of success like the box office numbers for a theatrical release. So it’s hard to know whether Paramount made a mistake in selling the film to Amazon.
The film cost $200 million, so with marketing costs usually doubling the overall budget, the film would have needed to make $400 million just to break even. That probably wasn’t likely during a pandemic, but Paramount could have delayed the film six months if they were confident in it.
Either way, Amazon are obviously happy enough with how it performed to consider a sequel. We’ll see if it comes to fruition.