From top to bottom, Doug Liman's Edge of Tomorrow (a.k.a Live Die Repeat) feels nothing like a traditional Tom Cruise movie. It's a full-blown science-fiction romp, and Cruise's Bill Cage is anything but a hero at the beginning of the film. However, as the story progresses, the character eventually does find the courage to fight the Mimics and become the savior of Earth. During a recent chat with Liman about the upcoming home video release of The Wall, I asked how he will continue Bill Cage's arc in Live Die Repeat and Repeat, and the director revealed that Cruise's character not only has a long way to go, but he's also not a full-blown hero yet. Liman elaborated:
You know, it's a sequel that's a prequel. That being said, he has a way better arc in the sequel. Because in Live Die Repeat, he's basically saving the world because he lives there. He really is just trying to save the girl. He has not necessarily become less of a coward [by the end], and he hasn't necessarily become a better person. As a matter of fact, that was something that was important to Tom. When we were making the movie, we would joke that he's only saving the Earth because he lives here. He would choose to just leave and go be somewhere else if he could. So his character never really makes the transformation. Vince Vaughn's character doesn't really make the transformation in Swingers. I love anti-heroes, and sometimes I love them for their anti-heroness, so you don't want to necessarily lose that. That being said, he has a proper arc in the sequel, which is why I'm so excited to make the movie.
Although Bill Cage technically saved the planet during the events of Edge of Tomorrow, he only did it because it was vital to keeping himself alive. Sure, it was the right thing to do, but he (and Emily Blunt's Rita Vrataski) benefited from his actions. Based on what Doug Liman said to me during our chat, it sounds like the character will slowly but steadily make an even greater transition in Live Die Repeat and Repeat. He will still be an anti-hero in most respects, but the intention now is to add a few more layers of selflessness to his actions and give him an arc that feels even more complete.
So, what exactly does this mean? Considering how high the stakes already were in Edge of Tomorrow, how can Live Die Repeat and Repeat propel Bill Cage even closer to full-blown hero status? It's hard to say, given how little what we know about the film, but it stands to reason that Cage will choose to go to battle for reasons that have less to do with self-preservation and more to do with saving others from the Mimics. The sequel/prequel could involve him traveling back in time to prevent the war from ever occurring, or possibly even going to other timelines in an attempt to help alternate versions of himself save the day. The possibilities are endless when we deal with time travel, so we will just have to wait and see what Doug Liman and Tom Cruise ultimately cook up.
We will bring you more updates related to Live Die Repeat and Repeat as they become available to us. The Wall is currently available on Digital HD, but the DVD and Blu-ray versions of the film will hit shelves on August 15. As for Doug Liman's next collaboration with Tom Cruise, make sure to catch American Made when it debuts in theaters on September 29.