‘Edge of Tomorrow’ Director: ‘Most Studios Aren’t Making Big, Original Movies’

Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt at
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Edge of Tomorrow” stars Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt went globe-trotting Wednesday, touching down in Paris, London and New York City in a red carpet endurance test.

It was part of an ambitious gambit that left the stars of the futuristic thriller greeting fans in three different countries in a single day, before screening the film at 11:59 p.m. in a sly nod to its title.

But a serious case of jet lag wasn’t the biggest risk the team behind the $175 million adventure were undertaking.

“Most studios aren’t making big, original movies,” Doug Liman, the film’s director, said on the red carpet in New York. “When you look at what’s coming out this summer, they’re all sequels, they’re all based on toys.”

Liman praised Warner Bros. for putting its muscle behind “Edge of Tomorrow” in a summer dominated by Spider-Man, X-Men and giant monsters. He noted the studio also backed such daring blockbusters as “Inception” and “The Matrix,” bold moves that paid off at the box office.

In today’s Hollywood, getting a greenlight for those kinds of costly and creative films is an uphill battle.

“Theyre are not that many [films] that aren’t based on some property or some franchise that already comes with its own built-in audience,” Erwin Stoff, the film’s producer, said at the New York screening. “I think it’s a really hard, risky thing to do today.”

For his part Liman, whose previous credits include “The Bourne Identity” and “Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” is hopeful that audiences still have an appetite for films that are off-beat and defy easy categorization.

“All I can do is make films that I would want to go see and when I first read ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ I was like, ‘wow, this is a really fun, original movie,'” Liman said. “What else do you want when you go to the movies?”

“Edge of Tomorrow” finds Cruise upending his action hero persona by playing a cowardly army spin-master forced into service on the frontlines. This is an impossible mission cinema’s Ethan Hunt is eager not to accept.

“Just take the brand of Tom Cruise and just turn it on its head,” Liman said. “He’s totally gutsy, because he just jumped right at that. In fact, we were sort of topping each other to see how cowardly and how just in over his head we could make him.”

“Action is action — if it doesn’t have story and character, it’s not involving,” Cruise said on the red carpet in the U.K. “The thing with this film, it’s a very ambitious movie. It takes you on a journey, it’s enormously entertaining. The characters are original and engaging, and yet familiar.”

The film pits the star against an alien horde, but throws in another twist — Cruise’s character is forced to live the same day over and over again, each time dying in grisly fashion. Just how many times he’s doomed to repeat his fatal brush with battle is an enduring question.

“We have no idea,” Stoff admitted.

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  1. therealeverton says:

    What a ridiculous complaint to make as you launch a film based on a book! Just as “unoriginal” as anything based on a toy, and I suppose a sequel.

    All that matters is the quality anyway, I’ll take a great sequel over a rubbish so called “original” any day.

    But the key point here is he is throwing stones from a glass house. This and his most famous film (arguably are both based on books.

  2. Jp says:

    Nonsense. Edge of Tomorrow is based on a Japanese light novel (All You Need Is Kill) and a Manga. How original is that…

    • NOMADPLAYER says:

      As original as any other movie that uses literature as basis. I believe that he meant original in the not a sequel or established cinematic/theatrical franchise sense!!

  3. I have discussed adapting my books with 3 studios, all of which wanted highly original material but then wanted me to change plot lines to make them more ‘acceptable to mainstream audiences’. Guess what, my books are original AND are enjoyed by mainstream readers.

  4. JoelR says:

    I agree with Liman, but take issue with EoT being “original”….It’s not a new concept, most recently used in Duncan Jones’ “Source Code.” (And even in the rom-com “Groundhog Day.) Still looking forward to seeing it. Hope the 3D is done effectively..

  5. JMM says:

    This movie is just “Source Code” without the really bad ending. And aliens instead of a train.

  6. Barry says:

    He’s not wrong, but chiding the studios for relying on established work is a bit rich coming from the guy whose movie is a manga adaptation.

  7. studios aren’t making good movies period

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