The Fourth of July weekend typically sees at least a couple of mega budget blockbusters released into theaters to play on thousands of screens. While this past frame was one of the strongest of the pandemic era, the biggest titles to debut were animated sequel The Boss Baby: Family Business and R-rated thriller The Forever Purge, with the requisite effects-driven spectacle provided by Amazon via The Tomorrow War.
It’s exactly the sort of project that would theoretically do decent business had it reached the multiplex, but the effects of COVID-19 and the financial uncertainty that came with it saw Paramount sell Chris McKay’s live-action directorial debut off to Amazon for a reported $125 million.
It’s always difficult to gauge whether or not such expensive streaming exclusives perform well enough to justify further installments when all of the major platforms are so secretive about their data, but McKay admitted in a new interview that he already has some ideas in place to build out the mythology.
“We had such a fun design process. 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 like world-building experiments, especially when you have the potential of some kind of time travel. 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. So yeah, I think that could be a lot of fun. And with this cast, too, we’re just getting started.”
Technically, any future films set in the same universe as The Tomorrow War wouldn’t necessarily require the presence of Chris Pratt to justify their existence, even though he played the lead role and executive produced. Then again, audiences might not be so keen on more time traveling intergalactic adventures if one of Hollywood’s biggest stars wasn’t involved.
It’s a curious situation, that’s for sure, and it’s presumably entirely dependent on how The Tomorrow War fares with Amazon’s global subscriber base. Reviews have been reasonably solid across the board, but at a reported cost of $200 million, it’s entirely up for debate whether or not the company would be willing to shell out roughly the same again when they’d have to fund it themselves second time around.