It’s the sequel idea that just won’t die. Doug Liman’s ambitious, brain-bending sci-fi actioner “Edge of Tomorrow” might have started its theatrical run with iffy domestic returns, but the Tom Cruise- and Emily Blunt-starring alien invasion thriller has only increased in status since its original summer 2014 release. With that affection came the inevitable: plenty of demand for a sequel, the rare case that finds both a film’s fanbase and its creative team equally as eager to ante up for a fresh adventure.
Rumors have persisted for years that a followup was in the offing, but with stars Cruise and Blunt busy with other franchises (including “Mission: Impossible” and “A Quiet Place”) and a seemingly tough-to-crack story, “Edge of Tomorrow 2” (or, as it’s now known “Live Die Repeat and Repeat”) has remained in a tenuous position. But is that changing?
“I think there’s an idea, that he says is great,” Blunt said in a recent interview with IndieWire. “And he says this guy came in and cracked the case. How the stars will all align for us to be able to do it. I don’t know. I hope they do.” In March 2019, the studio brought on “The Invention of Lying” co-director and co-writer Matthew Robinson (and apparent “this guy” in Blunt parlance) to pen the screenplay after falling in love with his pitch for the sequel. (Previous drafts from Joe Shrapnel, Anna Waterhouse, and Jez Butterworth remain credited on the film’s IMDb page.)
Blunt remains game for the followup to the first film, despite the demands of the first one. “I absolutely adored it,” she said. “It broke my body in half, but I’d be willing to do it again to work with those boys who I love. So let’s see.” Blunt’s not joking about the love between cast and crew, affectionately referring to director Liman as a “mad scientist” who she couldn’t wait to see at the upcoming premiere for “A Quiet Place: Part II.” And, yes, she planned to speak to Liman about “Live Die Repeat and Repeat” at the event.
The actress did, however, joke that she and Cruise might be getting on in the years before it’s possible. “Tom and I are going to be 70 before we make another one,” she said. “It’s going to look a bit weird. We’ll have to do a real flashforward one.” The actress added with a laugh, “We’ll go full ‘Irishman,’ it’ll be the ‘Irishman’ version of ‘Edge of Tomorrow.’ Who knows? I hope, I’m going to talk to Doug about it [at the ‘A Quiet Place: Part II’ premiere].”
When Blunt spoke with IndieWire during the press push for the first “Quiet Place” back in 2018, she shared that the sequel nearly happened before a little project called “Mary Poppins Returns” got in the way.
“It’s a lot for all the stars to align for everyone to be free at the same time and available to do it at the same time,” Blunt explained in 2018. “They asked me to do [it] two months before I started ‘Mary Poppins.’ 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! I can’t do ‘Edge of Tomorrow.'” Even then, however, Blunt was excited about the possibility of the sequel, saying, “Doug Liman has got an awesome idea and he’s excited and they just need to write it.”
As Blunt tells it, Robinson just might be the “guy” to crack the screenplay. Liman’s 2014 actioner (written by Butterworth, his brother John-Henry Butterworth, and filmmaker Christopher McQuarrie) starred Cruise as a public relations officer for the army who is forced into combat in a growing war between humans and a group of aliens called Mimics. After being infected by Mimic blood, Cruise’s character finds himself reliving the same day every time he dies. The time reset gives humanity one last chance at victory over the Mimics. Blunt starred as military leader Rita Vrataski.
Despite some wackiness with its title (it was later re-named “Live Die Repeat” for home box office sales and was first known as “All You Need Is Kill,” after the Hiroshi Sakurazaka light novel that inspired it) the film was a box office success, grossing over $370 million worldwide during a robust theatrical run that initially started with lukewarm domestic returns. In the years since its debut, the film has become something of a cult hit, and fans have long clamored for a sequel. Its creative team has apparently also felt the same way, including Blunt, Cruise, and Liman.
Just two months ago, Liman himself took to Instagram to share a picture of Robinson and producer Alison Winter alongside a pair of massive whiteboards that appear to be filled with the predictably wild story beats of a sequel. While most notes were blurred out, a few things were visible, including both Blunt’s character name (“Rita”) and Cruise’s (“Cage”). Liman was a touch less vague in the caption, writing: “How many whiteboards is too many? #LiveDieRepeat2.”
Blunt will next be seen in Paramount Pictures’ “A Quiet Place: Part II,” which hits theaters on Friday, March 20.