Amazon’s new sci-fi blockbuster The Tomorrow War is a unique proposition in more ways than one. Not only is it one of the most expensive productions to ever debut exclusively on streaming services, but it’s also a rare big-budget epic that isn’t based on an existing property. It also doesn’t concern itself with laying the foundations for sequels, prequels, spinoffs, or cinematic universes, either.
Chris McKay’s live-action directorial debut comes in, tells its story, and then calls it a day. While that story might drag on for just a little too long by the time the third act comes along, it’s still an entertaining enough slice of effects-driven spectacle, one that’s guaranteed to draw in strong viewership numbers across its opening weekend and beyond.
The platform’s last action-orientated acquisition was Michael B. Jordan’s Without Remorse, which was clearly designed with franchise potential in mind looking at the mid-credits nod towards Rainbow Six. The Tomorrow War doesn’t set out a similar stall, but in a new interview McKay admitted that he’s already toyed with the direction any subsequent adventures for Chris Pratt’s Dan Forester could potentially head.
“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.”
The White Spikes are some of the best creatures to have shown up in sci-fi in recent years, and it would be great to see much more of them in the future. That being said, the majority of modern properties often fall into the same trap of explaining their respective mythologies in too much depth, even when nobody asks. The Tomorrow War ends with all the plot points being resolved, so it’s fine as a one-and-done effort, but the door is definitely held open just a little bit in the event McKay and writer Zach Dean come up with another tale worth telling.