Doug Liman’s sci-fi actioner Edge of Tomorrow is still a ways off—the film doesn’t open until June 6—but so it doesn’t get lost and forgotten in the mid-summer blockbuster shuffle, they’re hitting the promotional trail hard. They just released and extended trailer and new TV spot, as well as a glut of posters, and now Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow are back with five new behind-the-scenes featurettes that dig into various facets of the film.
These are the kind of videos that often populate Blu-ray releases, but we get them ahead of time in this case. Key players, including Liman and stars Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt, discuss a variety of topics of interest to the alien invasion thriller. The story follows Bill Cage (Cruise), an inexperienced military man who is thrust into combat to battle an invading force called Mimics. He’s killed in what is essentially a suicide mission, and much to his surprise, he wakes up the morning of the day of his death to live it all over again.
This first video digs into Cruise’s character. He’s not your typical hero. Like we said, he’s never fought a day in his life. He’s no soldier, has no courage in his soul, and is useless, incompetent, and in way over his head. One thing you can say for Cruise, who generally gets a bad rap in the public eye, is that he’s down for whatever physical feats a role requires. All of the stunts in the film are him—I imagine there are some big, dangerous ones that the insurance companies insisted he leave to professionals, but by and large, he does way more than most of his counterparts, including running around in a bulky, heavy mechanical suit all day.
Like Cage, Blunt’s character, Rita Vrataski, isn’t what you typically expect. She’s not a demure love interest, no, she’s badass alien-killing machine. Her weapon of choice is a sharpened helicopter blade, which should tell you something about her personality. Blunt isn’t as used to this this kind of action as her costar—she’s done a couple action-y movies like The Adjustment Bureau and Looper, but nothing on this scale—and as Cruise says, they basically threw her into the “deep end of action,” and had to work to make her battle scenes both violent and balletic.
The time loop is the central plot point of Edge of Tomorrow, and apparently this is a power that the Mimics possess. Rita had it for a while, but lost it, and for some reason Cage inherits the gift. This is why the humans are losing, because the alien invaders can go back until they get it right. But now that Cage has the same ability, he’s the last change we have to make it out of this alive.
The exoskeletons that the soldiers wear are designed to serve the same function as personal tanks. And because they decided to go practical instead of CGI, each one weighs approximately 120 pounds all done up with weapons. That makes for a hard day of shooting, but should pay dividends in the look of the finished film.
Because Rita has the same power Cage now possesses, she knows how he needs to train. In fact, that process is precisely how she became such a badass and the poster child for the military. Every day, Cage has to find her and learn what he can before he dies, but even that training is rather hazardous, illustrated by his broken spine. But anything worth doing is worth doing right, and when the fate of the world hangs in the balance, you better go all out.