The COVID-19 outbreak caused a load of theatrical delays in 2020, which have now resulted in a packed 2021 calendar. But “new year, new me” isn’t exactly a mantra that’s holding well for Hollywood as the pandemic continues to spread, with 60% of theaters still reportedly closed throughout the U.S. and Canada. There could be some more compromises ahead, including Chris Pratt’s next movie going straight to streaming.
It’s been a long time since we’ve seen the Guardians of the Galaxy actor front and center in a role. We’ll have to wait longer than planned to see him reprise his roles as Star-Lord in the MCU and Owen Grady in the Jurassic World films, but he has a wholly original film expected for release this year. Chris Pratt will star in The Tomorrow War, a science-fiction action flick about a man who is drafted to fight in a “future war," in whiich the fate of humanity is reliant on his ability to confront his past. The film was reportedly screened by major streaming services over the weekend and could be sold shortly, per Deadline.
The movie originally had plans to be distributed to theaters by Paramount this summer, after being moved from its 2020 holiday release date. According to new reports, The Tomorrow War is planning to forgo its big-screen July date and be distributed via streaming service. The sci-fi movie apparently “played really well” for its streamers, so multiple services could enter a bidding war before we find out where The Tomorrow War will find its new home.
The Tomorrow War is Chris Pratt’s executive producing gig and features a major cast including Betty Gilpin, J.K. Simmons and Yvonne Strahovski. It will come from the director of The LEGO Batman Movie, Chris McKay.
If The Tomorrow War holds its spot on the 2021 theatrical calendar, it will be sandwiched between Tom Holland-led video game adaptation Uncharted, Space Jam: Legacy on the weekend before and Dwayne Johnson’s Jungle Cruise the one after. It’s a crowded patch of the summer that still faces uncertainty regarding whether or not theaters will be up and running at full strength again.
Movies have seen all kinds of release experimentation this past year. This includes Warner Bros’ new day-and-date theatrical and HBO Max's simultaneous release decision that will run through 2021. It started with Wonder Woman 1984 over Christmas and seemed to be a solid business plan for the DC release. Patty Jenkins’ film boosted struggling theaters with the biggest three-day opening for a movie to debut during the pandemic. The studio was also impressed enough with its at-home performance to announce plans that Wonder Woman 3 is being fast tracked.
In the meantime, Pratt just landed in Australia with his Guardians of the Galaxy co-stars to start filming Thor: Love and Thunder, coming May 6, 2022. The actor is also set to star in Jurassic World: Dominion, which arrives on June 10, 2022 and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, a film slated for release in 2023.