It fell by the wayside, due to that age-old plight of undiscovered money, but the “Tomorrow When The War Began” sequel could be back on — or if not back then, then at least showing signs of life, which is a much more positive development phase for it to be wedged in considering it’s flatlining status twelve months back.
“Tomorrow When The War Began”, which received mostly positive reviews when it was released downunder two years ago, follows the journey of eight high school friends in an Australian coastal town whose lives are suddenly and violently upended by an invasion that no one saw coming.
Though the first film, written and directed by bravura Hollywood screenwriter Stuart Beattie and based on a series of John Marsden books, was a moderate hit down under, it failed to attract much greenback stateside. As such, Omnilab, who produced the picture and planned on bankrolling the sequels, pressed pause on all further chapters in the series.
Beattie, who had planned to write and direct the sequel, remained attached and loyal to the series during the lengthy production hiatus on the sequel. This year he shot the Aaron Eckhart blockbuster “I, Frankenstein”.
A huge fan of Marsden’s literary series, Beattie had a grand plan to make the “Tomorrow” series a trilogy of films and follow the theatrical releases up with a TV series that would pick up where the events of the second sequel left off.
Buried in a story over on Deadline, fixing on Deluxe acquiring a number of Omnilab Media’s key creative and media services, it’s mentioned that the production outfit have Kieran Darcy-Smith, the actor cum filmmaker who crafted this year’s terrific “Wish You Were Here”, working on the script for “Tomorrow When The War Began 2”.
Beattie likely got too busy with his “I, Frankenstein” commitments to explore the sequel – and possibly, like the fans, got tired of waiting for it to come to fruition – so the wordsmith plaque was handed over to Darcy-Smith (Doesn’t necessarily mean that Beattie won’t direct the film, if it gets up.)
Now this doesn’t mean “Tomorrow 2” is a sure thing – not at all, but the fact that the production company are paying out to have someone – other than Beattie – to work on the script, suggests that there’s definite interest in getting it done. The company tells us it’s definitely still in development, suggesting it’s something that they’re determined to make.
So why now?
Well, it’s possible that with some of Omnilab’s Media key creative and media services being sold off to Deluxe, that the prod co has come into some coin.
There’s also the possibility that they’ve attracted a big name to join the cast (there is a role in the script to fit a ‘name’, apparently), or maybe MGM’s long-gestating “Red Dawn” is starting to garner some good buzz, and as such, Omnilab want in on some of that ‘small-town invasion’ money. But more likely is the Deluxe deal has helped the struggling “Tomorrow” sequel cut a break.
And thank god, imagine leaving the series on the abrupt cliff-hanger that the first did? Ouch.
“Tomorrow When The War Began” was released in February in the states, rolling out on VOD and online, and released in select cinemas in North America.