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Chris Pratt is no stranger to sci-fi on a massive scale, having starred in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers franchises, the Jurassic World trilogy and cosmic romance Passengers, but the actor has never appeared in anything quite like The Tomorrow War.
Chris McKay’s live-action feature debut is that rarest of things; a big budget blockbuster that’s based on a completely original concept. Pratt headlines the ensemble cast as Dan Forester, a former special forces operator now working as a teacher who finds himself drafted into the titular conflict, which sees time travelers from 30 years in the future return to the present day in an effort to recruit soldiers in the battle against an intergalactic species that’s wiped out the majority of the human race by 2051.
Once reenlisted, Pratt finds himself jostling for alpha male status with Edwin Hodge’s Dorian, one of the rare veterans to have survived more than one tour. In an exclusive interview with We Got This Covered, we spoke to the two stars about The Tomorrow War, whether there’s any mixed emotions about the movie bypassing theaters entirely, and what makes the project so special, which you can check out below.
It must be a relief after the long wait, to know The Tomorrow War is almost finally here, and you can talk about it and try not to give away any spoilers.
Chris Pratt: Yeah, and it has been a long time coming, but we’re pretty excited about it.
Are there any mixed emotions that fans won’t get to see it on the big screen because of the sheer size of the movie, but the fact it’s on Amazon means it could potentially find a much bigger audience?
Edwin Hodge: Very, very true. I don’t know how many countries we’re gonna be in, how many different languages we’ll be in. The last I heard there were thirteen languages we were gonna premiere this film in, you know. And to open on such a large scale, and to be able to touch many different countries, and have people hear it in their own language, it’s actually pretty cool.
I don’t think, really, films get an opportunity to open on a large scale like that. Usually, like Germany might have to wait two months before they get to see it, because they gotta spend time dubbing, but we kind of took care of all of that for you guys up front, and now we have this massive opening.
Chris Pratt: Yeah, it is a little bittersweet. I suppose you hope that it’s not the end of an era for big blockbuster movies at the cinema, and I don’t think that is is, because we’ve already seen big movies come back in the theaters, and doing really well, like A Quiet Place 2 and The Conjuring. And when we made a deal with Amazon to distribute this movie, it was late last year, it was right in the height of the pandemic, so we didn’t really know what it was.
And there’s going to be a lot of films coming back to the box office, and it’s a really crowded marketplace there, just because of the number of films that got pushed back. So I have no fear about cinema going away, and I’m really grateful that I’m part of this movie that was initially intended to be seen on the big screen, but if you watch a big film that’s intended for the big screen and it doesn’t work, it’s because the story doesn’t work. I think our story really works.
I think you can watch a story like this on the small screen. It doesn’t need to be explosions and big action sequences; we have a ton of those, and they’re going to look great on any size of TV that you watch it on, but ultimately it’s the story that’s going to set this movie apart.
You’ve both got plenty of experience in sci-fi/military movies, action movies and blockbusters, you’ve pretty much seen and done it all between the two of you. What is it that makes The Tomorrow War stand out from the pack, because it’s one of the few big budget movies that’s based on an original concept as well?
Chris Pratt: I think you saying that, that’s one. You pointed out one thing, it’s original. It’s original IP, it’s got this kind of budget, I think it deals with universal themes that aren’t typically in sci-fi. There’s a sort of It’s a Wonderful Life-type look at regret, second chances for redemption, and life. As well, weirdly timed post-pandemic, even though we shot it pre-pandemic; a global crisis that the entire world must use science and come together and solve.
I think that’s interesting and really timely. And I think as far as creatures go, and aliens go, these maybe the very best I think I’ve ever seen. They’re incredible, they’re scary, they’re brilliantly designed, they’re unique. They’re unlike anything I’ve ever seen before, and simply unforgettable.
Edwin Hodge: I concur!
That concludes our interview with Chris Pratt and Edwin Hodge. The Tomorrow War is coming exclusively to Amazon on July 2nd.