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Christopher McQuarrie Says the Worst Scene in ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ Was the Studio’s Idea

Just how much explanation is necessary in science-fiction movies? For McQuarrie, less is more in some instances.

"Edge of Tomorrow"

“Edge of Tomorrow”

Warner Bros.

One of the best directors on social media is hands down Christopher McQuarrie. The “Mission: Impossible — Fallout” filmmaker often uses Twitter to share screenwriting tips, provide director’s commentary to his films or movies he’s watching, and offer up his honest thoughts on the industry. A recent McQuarrie Twitter thread found the director musing on logic and explanations in films with otherworldly elements.

“‘Ghostbusters’ understands that logic is overrated,” McQuarrie wrote. “They knew exactly what needed explaining and what didn’t. Most importantly, the protagonists are just trying to make a living. They only become traditional heroes in the final act.”

McQuarrie had hoped to be just as limited on explanations when it came to his 2014 science-fiction action movie “Edge of Tomorrow,” starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt. McQuarrie adapted Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s Japanese novel “All You Need Is Kill” for the Doug Liman-directed movie. The writer shared with his Twitter followers that the scene in the film in which the invading alien race’s intentions are explained was not something he was personally keen on.

“The worst scene in ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ is an attempt to understand the alien’s intention. Compliments of the studio. They are invaders. They invade. As humans, we should not have to have this explained.”

Fellow writer and director James Mangold (“Logan,” the upcoming “Ford v. Ferrari”) joined in on the conversation. Whereas Warner Bros. apparently forced McQuarrie to include a scene explaining the aliens’ intention, Fox did no such thing when it came to the aliens in “Alien.” Mangold argued that the aliens in “Alien” are all the more effective without explanation.

“The Alien in ‘Alien’ did not feel generic cause it had character and personality, predominantly defined by its ruthless killing efficiency. It didn’t need explanation,” Mangold wrote. “We understood it and it did not feel generic. It was a shatteringly original creature in its purity of purpose.”

McQuarrie reiterated his less-explanation-is-better stance by turning his attention to the depiction of time travel at the movies. “I do not care how one travels through time,” he wrote. “I want to travel through time. I want to see what time travel does to characters I care about because I cannot travel through time. This is why I go to movies.”

News broke earlier this year that Warner Bros. would be moving forward on the long-awaited “Edge of Tomorrow” sequel. Cruise and Blunt are expected to reprise their roles from the original. McQuarrie is currently at work on the next two “Mission: Impossible” movies.

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