Those Edge Of Tomorrow Exosuits Were As Heavy As They Look

"Edge of Tomorrow" mashes up two of the most enduring tropes in science fiction: the alien invasion and the time loop. Though the film mostly focuses on Tom Cruise doing what Tom Cruise does best, tempting death over and over again, there's also a scene-stealing performance from Emily Blunt. If you were impressed by her work in both "A Quiet Place" movies, you owe it to yourself to check her out here as Rita Vrataski. Though we may never get a sequel, we can still admire the work that went into the first That extends not just to the cast and director Doug Liman (as well as Cruise's longtime collaborator Christopher McQuarrie for whipping the script into shape), but the design team as well, especially when it comes to the weaponized exosuits that Cruise and Blunt have to haul around.

Despite all the CGI that helped make "Edge of Tomorrow" possible, those armed exosuits are mostly practical. At the request of Liman and Cruise, production designer Oliver Scholl and prop master/suit modeler Pierre Bohanna crafted the cumbersome, yet cool-looking suits that had genuine weight to them. Each suit weighed anywhere from 85 to 135 pounds, and that's not including any weapons the performers had to use.

Live. Die. Repeat.

Oliver Scholl said that the exosuits' weight came from their design, as he wanted something that looked less like it came out of an anime and more like something that could be reasonably jerry-rigged with today's tools. He explained:

"They are not shiny, slick, beautiful designs...[Our design] is more taking its keys from actual developments that the military is doing and going back into more traditional forms and shapes that just convey more mechanics and hydraulics rather than slick engineering."

It was a sentiment Bohanna agreed with. During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, he mentioned how the suits were meant to look like military hardware and that they should provide a struggle for their pilots:

"They're brash, quickly-made pieces of equipment. So you've got to see the guys struggling in them."

Indeed, the struggle is shown in the opening sequence of the film. William Cage (Cruise) is strapped into one of the suits and thrown into the middle of battle against the invading aliens known as Mimics — with no idea of how to work the weapons or how to even move it. The end result feels like wading through the depths of hell, and that's an accurate statement for what Cruise and Blunt went through while filming action sequences.

Tomorrow never dies...but it hurts like hell

Cruise is no stranger to pulling off death-defying stunts. With every entry in the "Mission: Impossible" series, I'm convinced that he's flat-out taunting death. But even he admitted that the weight of the exosuits was a challenge he had to overcome during an interview with USA Today. Cruise said:

"One of the suits with the angel wings had a sniper rifle and missile launcher on my back and weighed about 130 pounds. I'm having to sprint in it...It's physically grueling."

Blunt didn't fare much better, as she fully admitted to tearing up when learning about the five-month shoot they'd have to endure for "Edge of Tomorrow." She also learned Krav Maga and kickboxing for the role as well, which only leaves me further in awe of what she pulls off on the screen. Though "Edge of Tomorrow" may feature a hellish battle against alien invaders, it turns out that the real war was against some very heavy and very cumbersome props.