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The Tomorrow War: Chris Pratt Wanted The World To Have A Grounded Sense Of Reality

In the "Guardians of the Galaxy" trilogy, Peter Quill/Star-Lord actor Chris Pratt experiences more than his fair share of space travel and encounters with alien species from other worlds. And while his film "The Tomorrow War" also finds him encountering aliens from the vast reaches of the galaxy, Pratt insisted on keeping the action of the film grounded here on Earth.

Released in 2021 as an Amazon Prime original movie, "The Tomorrow War" stars Pratt as Dan Forester, a science teacher and former Green Beret soldier who is pulled from the comforts of his suburban home at the end of 2022 into a war set 26 years in the future, where an alien invasion threatens humanity and thus, Earth's future. Directed by Chris McKay, the film is naturally chockfull of science fiction and fantasy elements — most prominently a wormhole device that Dan and his fellow soldiers use to travel to the future to fight aliens — but Pratt was intent on keeping the material relatable.

So, instead of presenting viewers with an "Independence Day"-type movie "where you have to suspend disbelief all over the place," Pratt told Forbes that he wanted to go with more of a grounded approach that abandoned sci-fi movie convention. "For me, it was like, 'Okay, time travel is real, these aliens are a real invading force, and in 2051 we're fighting against them, but other than that, everything else is real,'" Pratt explained to the publication. "Everything was happening in this world and not some elevated world where people get away with saying one-liners and doing crazy s*** that you can't really do."

McKay wanted to show how The Tomorrow War 'could happen to ordinary people'

Recalling the production phases of "The Tomorrow War," director Chris McKay told Forbes that initially, he viewed the film as something that incorporated elements of the James Cameron sci-fi classic "The Terminator" — which involved time travelers from the future — and the dystopian nature of Alfonso Cuarón's hit "Children of Men."

Once McKay started to discuss his ideas with Pratt, they altered the movie's approach. "We keyed into creating a world that was a little bit like the one we live in but tweaked," the director told Forbes. "We wanted it to feel like this could happen to ordinary people in this world, but then it gets a little more sci-fi."

As such, McKay created the tone of "The Tomorrow War" by gleaning inspiration from a reputable source of sci-fi inspiration named Steven Spielberg.

"Spielberg movies are definitely in the mix as we're capturing that sense of wonder, tension, and suspense," McKay told Forbes.