EXCLUSIVE: Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse have been tapped to write the sequel to Tom Cruise and Doug Liman’s sci-fi sleeper hit Edge Of Tomorrow. The original film, also starring a buffed-up Emily Blunt, was a surprise and pleasure for many genre fans with its time-bending narrative and stylish chemistry between its leads. Although a slow opener domestically, it eventually hit $100 million in the U.S. More importantly, it was a bone fide smash internationally, grossing a further $270 million or so to make the case for a sequel pretty compelling.
The original seemed to square up any loose ends pretty efficiently, though, so Shrapnel and Waterhouse will have to be inventive to find a way to get Blunt back in the mix with Cruise. Liman is attached to direct with Erwin Stoff and Tom Lassally producing. Christopher McQuarrie, who wrote the first film, is in talks to board as a producer and is developing the script with the writers.
Shrapnel and Whitehouse are much in-demand. After getting their first proper feature produced this year with the Jesse Owens biopic Race, the pair were brought on to do a rewrite of The Gray Man, based on the novel by Mark Greaney, at Sony. McQuarrie is also set to direct this one with Charlize Theron attached to star. Theron’s Denver and Delilah label is also aboard as producers alongside Joe Roth.
The duo also adapted Circle Of Treason, based on a book by CIA agents Sandy Grimes and Jeanne Vertefeuille about their pursuit of fellow CIA agent and traitor Aldrich Ames.
Shrapnel and Waterhouse have also adapted Rhidian Brook’s The Aftermath for Ridley Scott’s Scott Free and BBC Films. That book, which earned critical raves, is set in post-World War II Hamburg in 1946. Charged with overseeing the rebuilding of this devastated city, a British colonel is joined by his grieving wife and only remaining son. But rather than force the owners of the house they’re staying in — a German widower and his traumatized daughter — to leave, the two families live together, setting up a charged and claustrophobic atmosphere as enmity and grief give way to passion and betrayal.
Shrapnel and Waterhouse are repped by CAA, Grandview, and The Curtis Brown Group.