We first told you that Skydance sold the Chris Pratt sci-fi film The Tomorrow War to Amazon Studios for $200M, and now that deal has closed with the streamer setting a July 2 drop date in 240 countries and territories. It’s the second Paramount release that Amazon has picked up after Coming 2 America which was a record-viewed hit for them. That Eddie Murphy title was snapped up by Amazon for $125M, as Deadline first told you. Tomorrow War‘s most recent theatrical release date was July 23. At one point before the pandemic, the movie was scheduled to release at Christmas last year.
In The Tomorrow War, written by Zach Dean, the world is stunned when a group of time travelers arrive from the year 2051 to deliver an urgent message: 30 years in the future mankind is losing a global war against a deadly alien species. The only hope for survival is for soldiers and civilians from the present to be transported to the future and join the fight. Among those recruited is high school teacher and family man Dan Forester (Pratt). Determined to save the world for his young daughter, Dan teams up with a brilliant scientist (Yvonne Strahovski) and his estranged father (J.K. Simmons) in a desperate quest to rewrite the fate of the planet.
“The Tomorrow War will be a global event that will surprise and delight our customers around the world,” said Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios. “Director Chris McKay has brilliantly crafted this unique, action-packed sci-fi escape that will keep audiences on the edge of their seats and tug on their heart strings with its father-daughter storyline. We couldn’t be happier to continue our relationship with Chris Pratt—who brings such dynamic star power to the film—along with David Ellison and the Skydance team, as we share this exciting film with fans.”
“I’m so proud of this incredible cast and crew who worked under challenging circumstances to create a unique, original sci-fi action movie… something that’s increasingly rare. Watching this team of actors and artisans effortlessly blend action, horror, comedy, and drama was a dream come true for me … and I hope will thrill audiences this summer,” said director Chris McKay.
“It is fantastic to once again partner with Amazon to release another film from the Skydance canon,” said Skydance CEO David Ellison. “Jen and the marketing team have had great success in making film premieres on the Amazon platform must-see events and with Chris Pratt headlining, everything goes up to another level.”
While Coming 2 America was largely pushed on Amazon’s streaming service, the movie was released in a handful of theaters over its opening weekend of March 5-7. Amazon claimed that Coming 2 America was the most watched movie in a given weekend for a streaming service in 2021 without publishing any figures on March 8. A month later, Nielsen followed up with a report supporting the streamer’s claim that during the week of March 1-7, Coming 2 America racked up 1.4 billion minutes of viewing, giving Amazon its first No. 1 Nielsen streaming win.
“We fight,” declares Elisabeth Moss’ June in the new teaser for the upcoming fourth season of The Handmaid’s Tale. As you can see above, that’s an understatement if this latest look is any indication of the season to come.
And more Handmaid’s Tale is coming soon-ish.
With what seems like more action and battle scars than before, Season 4 of the Emmy winning dystopian drama based on Margaret Atwood’s acclaimed 1985 novel is set to launch on Hulu on April 28.
Similar to previous seasons, this 10-episode cycle of the Bruce Miller showrun Handmaid’s will return with three episodes at once. The remaining seven episodes of Joseph Fiennes, Yvonne Strahovski, Samira Wiley, Alexis Bledel, Bradley Whitford, Ann Dowd and Max Minghella co-starrer will then drop weekly on the Disney control streamer.
Back nearly a year and a half after Season 3 concluded with June and a cadre of other Handmaids and Marthas facilitating the escape of a plane full of children out of the oppressive former USA to Canada, Season 4 sees Moss’ character recovered from her bloody injuries and instigating a new insurgence. Across a boarded up and derelict urban landscape that feels brutally familiar after the past year we’ve live through in the real world, the Resistance attacks the weak underbelly of the regime in hopes of a better tomorrow.
“No matter where the war finds you today, remember we are still here,” enjoins the voice of Radio Free America.
However, don’t expect the war to end anytime soon.
It was announced back in December at Disney Investor Day that The Handmaid’s Tale has been renewed for a fifth season. So, the battle continues on many fronts for now rebel leader June and the women and children of an America gone very wrong.
The Handmaid’s Tale is executive produced by Moss, Miller, Warren Littlefield, Daniel Wilson, Fran Sears, Eric Tuchman, John Weber, Frank Siracusa, Sheila Hockin, Kira Snyder and Yahlin Chang.
Amazon Prime Video has been busy trying to use the pandemic to their advantage by snapping up titles formerly scheduled for theatrical release like Coming 2 America and Without Remorse, and now they’ve got their eyes on the sci-fi action film The Tomorrow War. The movie from director Chris McKay (The LEGO Batman Movie) is set in a futuristic conflict against an alien invasion, so humanity decides to level the playing field by drafting soldiers from the past to fight the war. The film stars Chris Pratt, Yvonne Strahovski, Betty Gilpin, Keith Powers, Sam Richardson, and J.K. Simmons.
Originally slated for release on July 23rd, Paramount decided to court streamers and now Variety reports that Amazon Studios is poised to sell for roughly $200 million, although “insiders stress the sale has not been finalized and financial terms have yet to be determined.”
Even if it doesn’t reach $200 million, that seems like a dizzying total for a film where Pratt’s star-power is still debatable (I’d argue his biggest successes were because of the Marvel, Jurassic Park, and LEGO brands while left to his own devices you get Passengers; that’s not a statement on his acting ability as much as it’s difficult to any actor to “open” a movie). Paramount definitely seems to be getting the better end of this deal because I doubt a film without a built-in brand would come anywhere close to sniffing $200 million domestic, although who knows how it would perform internationally.
But those numbers don’t really matter to Amazon, which would get to tout an action sci-fi movie starring Chris Pratt on its service. If they want to compete with the slates of Netflix, Disney+, et al., Amazon is deciding it needs more blockbuster content, and The Tomorrow War fits the definition of a “blockbuster.” We’ll see if it was worth the price tag when it likely debuts on Amazon later this year.
Ahead of its Season 4 premiere, Hulu has renewed its flagship drama series The Handmaid’s Tale for a fifth season. The announcement was made Thursday by Dana Walden, Chairman of Entertainment, Walt Disney Television, during the Disney Investor Day.
Based on Margaret Atwood’s novel of the same name, The Handmaid’s Tale follows the story of life in the dystopia of Gilead, a totalitarian society in what was formerly part of the United States.
The series, produced by MGM Television and internationally distributed by MGM, stars Elisabeth Moss, Joseph Fiennes, Yvonne Strahovski, Samira Wiley, Alexis Bledel, Ann Dowd, Max Minghella, Madeline Brewer, O-T Fagbenle, Amanda Brugel, Bradley Whitford, and Sam Jaeger.
In season four, June (Moss) strikes back against Gilead as a fierce rebel leader, but the risks she takes bring unexpected and dangerous new challenges. Her quest for justice and revenge threatens to consume her and destroy her most cherished relationships.
The Handmaid’s Tale is executive produced by creator/showrunner Bruce Miller, Warren Littlefield, Elisabeth Moss, Daniel Wilson, Fran Sears, Eric Tuchman, John Weber, Frank Siracusa, Sheila Hockin, Kira Snyder and Yahlin Chang.
The drama was nominated for 54 Primetime Emmy Awards over its first three seasons, winning 15, including best original drama, the first drama series win from a streaming service, as well as lead actress in a drama series for Moss.
You can watch a video of cast members sharing news of the renewal below.
At its best, Dexter was one of the sharpest shows on TV – a barbed, subversive serial-killer drama that dared audiences to side with Michael C. Hall’s mass-murder (albeit one with a stringent moral code, taking down the baddies who avoided legal justice) and watch with baited breath as he narrowly evaded detection from his own police squad. That freshness made it all the more disappointing, then, when the final seasons went completely off the boil – culminating in a finale that often ranks in lists of the worst (or, most disappointing) endings of all time. All of which made the recent news that Dexter is returning for a one-off revival series on Showtime both surprising and rather exciting – a chance to maybe alter the show’s lasting legacy.
And that’s partly how showrunner Clyde Phillips sees is. Speaking on The Hollywood Reporter’s TV’s Top 5 podcast, the series boss (who left the original run after the much-celebrated Season 4) opened up about what exactly the new series will be – and posited it as a ‘second finale’ for Dexter. “We want this to not be Dexter season nine,” he said, adding that the new series will pick up several years after the original ending. “10 years, or however many years, have passed by the time this will air, and the show will reflect that time passage. In so far as the ending of the show, this will have no resemblance to how the original finale was. It’s a great opportunity to write a second finale for our show, and Showtime was very gracious about that.”
By the sounds of it, the new series won’t walk back the events of the Series 8 finale – but it should continue them to a more satisfying place. “I believe that [Michael C Hall] was not completely satisfied with it, and this is an opportunity to make that right, but that’s not why we’re doing it,” Phillips said. “We’re doing this because there is such a hunger for Dexter out there. […] We’re 10 years later. We’re not undoing anything. We’re not doing movie-magic. We’re not going to betray the audience and say, ‘Oop, that was all a dream.’ What happened in the first eight years happened in the first eight years.”
It’s early days on the revival series yet, but current plans have it down for an autumn 2021 release. Here’s hoping Dexter manages to retrain as something other than a lumberjack within that time.