Directed by Chris McKay, The Tomorrow War is a sci-fi action flick that releases on Amazon Prime Video this Friday, July 2. The film features a star-studded cast featuring Chris Pratt, Yvonne Strahovski, J.K. Simmons, Edwin Hodge, Sam Richardson, Jasmine Matthews, and Keith Powers.
“The world is stunned when a group of time travelers arrive from the year 2051 to deliver an urgent message: Thirty years in the future mankind is losing a global war against a deadly alien species,” says the official synopsis. “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 (Chris Pratt). Determined to save the world for his young daughter, Dan teams up with a brilliant scientist and his estranged father in a desperate quest to rewrite the fate of the planet.”
Ahead of its release, ComingSoon Editor-in-Chief Tyler Treese spoke with The Tomorrow War stars Jasmine Matthews and Keith Powers about their characters, the ensemble cast, and its intense action scenes.
Tyler Treese: Jasmine, the way the film handles time travel is so great. Especially with how it’s explained, there are no plot holes or anything. Your character is really at the forefront of the future’s last stand. What did it mean for you to play such a key role? Such a powerful woman and you’re in action scenes kicking ass.
Jasmine Matthews: Yeah. It was incredible. A dream, to be honest, to be able to play this black woman whose standing in her power and commanding people who are 50, 60 years older than her, and having this responsibility of drafting people in order to save the world. It was not something that I took lightly. It was also, as much as a bad-ass that Lt. Hart is, she was also very cognizant of realizing that she was sending people into the future to be slaughtered. It was important for her to carry that with her as well. I think so there’s an emotional component that comes with being Lt. Hart.
Keith, you got to work with so many great actors. It’s really an ensemble of talent here in The Tomorrow War, and it seemed like a really fun film to make. How was the chemistry on set?
Keith Powers: The chemistry was good. Going into it, you see all these big names on paper and it’s just like, I just want to go and do my job and make sure I’m adding to the film any way possible. I’m still up and coming. I’m still learning and I just wanted to make everyone’s job easier, but it’s fun. It’s a great feeling and it’s just cool to know that you can belong in the world and in this setting. One with these amazing actors, but just also like, okay, I belong here. I can play this character. I can make it believable, and I could show people like, oh, I can deliver this action world that you want.
You definitely did. Jasmine, there’s so much action in The Tomorrow War, but as you were alluding to, there’s a lot of heart in the film and there’s a really great theme of family and redemption inside it. How cool is it to be involved with an action flick that also has a really positive message to it?
Matthews: Oh man, it’s fantastic, to be honest. Very rarely in an action film, are you going, “Ooh,” and, “Oh my God,” and you’re scared at the same time. There’s so many different elements in this, but one thing that I really took away from this film was that you have these everyday people who are coming together for one purpose and everybody has their part to play in order to save the world. So it doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, you can change the world for the better. And this film shows that in a beautiful and incredible way. So I really admire that about the film as well.
Keith, you got to hold your own with so many big names and the action scenes look so great in the film and the aliens look so cool. What was your favorite action scene that you filmed?
Powers: Just the scene in the nest was really cool. It was a lot going on and we had like a lot of stuntmen when we were shooting those scenes. I remember one had to literally, he was getting choked in the scene, so he had to like fly across the top of the set, getting choked and then like one guy had to fly out with flames behind him. It was fun to shoot. That was crazy, and I remember growing up just going to like amusement parks, like Universal Studios, and seeing them show live sets and that’s what it reminded me of. I remember being a kid seeing that and just being in this set, doing it and feeling the fire when they would turn on the fire and stuff. I was like, oh, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. This is amazing.
Yeah. They really pay off. Jasmine, you talked a little bit about that theme of unity. What do you really hope that people take away from this film?
Matthews: That there is a world that exists that is free of racism and sexism and where men and women can hold power at the same time without there being some sort of egoic power structure involved. I hope that it doesn’t take an alien invasion for us to get there, but that world can exist.
Very true. Keith, was there any great advice you received on set from any of the more veteran actors?
Powers: Not like specific advice to me, but I just took from like Yvonne and Chris on set, just watching them more so. Chris McKay, our director, just him just wanting us to bring us personally into the character that really showed me… Him doing that in that world really showed me like, “Okay, I could really be me as an actor.” A lot of these roles, I could bring me more and not have to worry about playing something how I think it should be played. I think that that’s really helped me since shooting The Tomorrow War, but just like Chris [Pratt] being a leader on set, Yvonne being so positive, being a leader on set, knowing that she has a lot of heavy scenes to work on.
You know, some actors and that’s totally fine as that’s the way they work. They want to be apart from people when they got to do heavy stuff. I feel that because you want to get into the right mental space, but it was crazy how Yvonne could just be chilling, kicking it with you, and then go do something heavy. I thought that was really cool, but I just love how Chris just makes everyone laugh on set. He just remembers everybody and shows everyone so much love. I was just like, okay, that’s what it takes. That’s the way to carry yourself as a number one on the call sheet.