Chris Pratt (Courtesy of Michael Buckner/Variety/REX/Shut)
Amazon Studios has swept in and is poised to land “The Tomorrow War,” a science-fiction action film with Chris Pratt that Skydance developed and produced. The price for the film is rumored to be roughly $200 million, but insiders stress the sale has not been finalized and financial terms have yet to be determined.
The film was being shopped to streamers and drew interest from companies due in part to its star power. Every major service, including Netflix and Apple, viewed the movie. Several were impressed by the film and thought it had commercial potential.
Amazon has been aggressive in landing splashy content, buying the likes of “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” “Coming 2 America,” and the Michael B. Jordan thriller “Without Remorse” in recent months as the coronavirus pandemic has upended the theatrical landscape. It’s also a sign that Jennifer Salke, the head of Amazon Studios, is continuing to push the streamer to back bigger, broader and more mainstream projects and to move away from its time releasing smaller, arthouse features like “Wiener-Dog” and “Patterson.” The company hasn’t abandoned the awards game, however. This year, it is releasing Oscar contenders such as “One Night in Miami” and “Sound of Metal.”
Skydance recently sold its upcoming animated features, “Luck” and “Spellbound” to Apple, which will be part of an overall animation pact. Studios have leaned heavily on streaming services during COVID-19.
“The Tomorrow War” is set in a futuristic conflict, one that finds humanity losing the fight against an alien invasion. To level the playing field, scientists develop a way to draft soldiers from the past to fight the war.
Chris McKay (“The Lego Movie”) directs from a script by Zach Dean. It co-stars Yvonne Strahovski, Betty Gilpin, Keith Powers, Sam Richardson and J. K. Simmons.
The film was initially scheduled to be released in theaters on July 23, 2021. Paramount originally planned to distribute the film and co-financed it. One insider said that the move comes about because the theatrical landscape remains in tremendous flux due to the public health crisis, making it uncertain when the movie could be released in cinemas.
Pratt previously worked with McKay on “The Lego Movie.” He stars as Star-Lord in the “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Avengers” films, and also anchored “Jurassic World.”
Variety's Brett Lang and Matt Donnelly contributed to this post.