Edge of Tomorrow has been hailed by the critics as one of the best movies of the year thus far, although the sci-fi thriller starring Tom Cruise hasn't exactly been setting the box office on fire, at least stateside. The film has only taken in $86.4 million domestically, but it has performed well overseas, with a healthy $320.9 worldwide take from a $178 million production budget. Of course, no one knows why exactly the movie isn't faring as well as many would hope, but it's possible that the controversial ending could have affected the box office receipts. However, according to screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie the ending was originally much, much more complex. Of course, if you haven't seen Edge of Tomorrow yet, there will be spoilers below, so read on at your own risk.
Edge of Tomorrow stars Tom Cruise as Lt. Bill Cage, who gets caught in a time loop during a longstanding war with an alien race known as the Mimics. Cage eventually comes to learn that when he kills an Omega mimic, that alien has the ability to "reset" the day, Groundhog Day style. During an interview with Film School Rejects, the writer acknowledged the fans' issues with the ending, revealing that it was Tom Cruise's rightful instincts about the use of humor in the movie, that lead them to the ending they went with.
"I was always arguing it has to end on the helicopter. You have to be thrown back to wondering, 'Did the movie even happen? Did any of this really happen?' To that end, there were a million things you had to do with the writing and visually, to serve that ending. That presented a lot of challenges and debate for us. We really struggled to deliver what the movie needed to be emotionally. I know the ending was somewhat controversial, with some people who didn't like it. I think the only way to make those people happy would to end the movie in a way that wasn't happy. We weren't interested in doing that. It needed to end in a way that wasn't harsh."
The writer is referring to the many fans who thought Bill Cage should have actually died at the end, after "dying" over and over again at the time loop. But, after absorbing the Omega's blood, the seemingly-dead Bill came back to life, regaining the Omega's resetting ability, waking up on the helicopter ride before the whole ordeal begins, while becoming a changed man in the process.
For those who weren't satisfied with the theatrical ending, they likely wouldn't have enjoyed an alternate ending that didn't make the cut, which Christopher McQuarrie explains below.
"When Tom loses the power, and they go to Paris, and Tom is preparing the team as they go into Paris where he's telling them the rules of the movie, he tells the team everything the audience knows. Basically, he told them: 'Kill as many Mimics as you want, but do not kill an Alpha. If you kill an alpha we'll be right back here having this conversation, and we won't even know it. The enemy will know we're coming and they'll kill us all.' When they get to Paris there's the classic horror movie scene where one of them gets separated from the group, and he gets attacked by an Alpha and kills it. As he kills it, you see the Omega reset the day and you see the point-of-view of the villain. We cut to the plane and hear the same speech all over again. This time when he gets to the line, 'You can bet they'll have a plan to kill us all,' the ship gets hit. As the audience, you realize the enemy knows they're coming. The problem was you were so exhausted by the time you got to that point."
That scene was cut because they didn't want to add any more exposition to a movie that already has plenty of it. It remains to be seen whether or not this scene will be included on the Blu-ray, but what are your thoughts on the Edge of Tomorrow ending? Let us know what you think below.