While this year may feel dystopian enough for audiences already, at least The Tomorrow War has explosive action sequences, aliens, and perhaps more importantly, Christ Pratt centre-stage.

What more could you want?

This sci-fi extravaganza is the latest blockbuster from Amazon Prime video and arrived on the streaming service on Friday, July 2nd 2021.

It serves as the live-action directorial feature debut of Chris McKay, who is most famous for having helmed The Lego Batman Movie and co-directed The Lego Movie. Equipped with a stellar cast of screen icons, it didn’t take long for it to become one of the most anticipated genre efforts of 2021.

Trailers promised viewers a high-concept fight for survival, but upon the film’s release some have found themselves curious as to whether The Tomorrow War is based on a book…

still from The Tomorrow War, Photo by Frank Masi/Courtesy of Amazon Studios – © 2021 Paramount Pictures., IMDb

Is The Tomorrow War based on a book?

  • No, The Tomorrow War is not based on a book. However, the confusion may stem from the fact that there is a book called Tomorrow War written by J.L. Bourne, although the two titles do not share the same narrative.

The film stars Chris (Guardians of the Galaxy) and centres on a band of time travellers who surface in the past from the year 2051 to deliver a desperate message.

The group tells those on earth at present that mankind is destined to be defeated by a deadly alien race in 30 years unless they can venture into the future and join the fight.

Taking action, Dan Forester (Chris as our leading man) travels forward in time accompanied by a scientist and his estranged father to help ensure that a future for humanity exists.

J.L. Bourne’s 2015 novel, on the other hand, follows a government operative on an unacknowledged mission inside the Syrian border. There, he triggers a chain of events that threatens to change society as we know it.

A weapon could very well prove the downfall of humanity and, in this crisis, the population fights to survive as resources become increasingly scarce and the US economy takes a crushing nosedive.

With nationwide martial law stripping away all freedoms, our protagonist is challenged with saving the future.

So, although both are dystopian texts, they’re significantly different in regards to the story.

THE TOMORROW WAR | Final Trailer | Prime Video

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THE TOMORROW WAR | Final Trailer | Prime Video
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Exploring Chris McKay’s movie influences

While it’s not based on a book, there were inevitably some significant influences on the director which are worth spotlighting.

During his conversation with Slash Film, he describes growing “up on a certain kind of movie,” explaining that there is “a certain way that the film is cast… even going back to movies way before my time, like Frank Capra movies and Howard Hawks movies and John Ford movies where the side characters and all that stuff have as much to do with the main plot as our leads do.”

Another influence also becomes clear as he elaborates:

“Jerry Bruckheimer is a guy that sort of fills out the cast with a lot of ordinary folks and that sort of thing. That’s something that I really wanted for a movie like this – that you would get some funny people and some well-rounded actors to build up the feeling of the army of the ordinary.”

He even reveals that he was approached by somebody saying that “it felt like a lost Jerry Bruckheimer movie from the 90s.”

Who’s joining the fight?

Don’t let the “army of the ordinary” comment fool you. The Tomorrow War boasts a wealth of familiar talent besides Chris Pratt:

  • Yvonne Strahovski (The Predator) as Vicki Winslow
  • J. K. Simmons (Whiplash) as Slade
  • Betty Gilpin (The Hunt) as Emmy Forester
  • Sam Richardson (Promising Young Woman) as Charlie
  • Edwin Hodge (The Purge) as Dorian
  • Jasmine Mathews (the forthcoming Man From Toronto) as Lieutenant Hart
  • Ryan Kiera Armstrong (It Chapter Two) as Muri Forester
  • Keith Powers (Straight Outta Compton) as Major Greenwood
  • Theo Von (InAPPropriate Comedy) as Barney
  • Mary Lynn Rajskub (Little Miss Sunshine) as Norah
  • Seychelle Gabriel (Blood Fest) as Sergeant Diaz
  • Mike Mitchell (Other People) as Cowan

The Tomorrow War is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

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