Tomorrow, When the War Began

February 24th 2012
  • Action/Thriller,
  • R,
  • 103 min,
  • Freestyle Releasing
  • Cast: Caitlin Stasey, Rachel Hurd-Wood, Lincoln Lewis, Deniz Akeniz, Chris Pang, Phoebe Tonkin, Ashleigh Cummings, Andrew Ryan, Colin Friels, Don Halbert, Olivia Pigeot, Stephen Bourke, Kelly Butler, Julia Yon, Dane Carson, Matthew Dale, Gary Quay, Michael Camilleri
  • Director: Stuart Beattie
  • Writers: Stuart Beattie, John Marsden
  • Producers: Michael Boughen, Andrew Mason
  • Executive Producers: Peter D. Graves, Christopher Mapp, Matthew Street, David Whealy
  • Art Direction: Michelle McGahey
  • Casting: Anousha Zarkesh
  • Costume Design: Terry Ryan
  • D.O.P.: Ben Nott
  • Editor: Marcus D'Arcy
  • Makeup: Paul Pattison
  • Musics: Reinhold Heil, Johnny Klimek
  • Production Design: Robert Webb
  • Set Decoration: Beverley Dunn


The journey of eight high school friends in a remote North Australian town whose lives are suddenly and violently upended by an invasion that no one saw coming. Caitlin Stasey stars as 17-year-old Ellie Linton, a precocious teen who leads her best friends including Corrie (Rachel Hurd-Wood) and Kevin (Lincoln Lewis) to an isolated, deep in the woods camp site named ‘Hell.’

Upon returning, they come to grips with the fact that their country has been overrun by a mysterious, invading army. When the hostile armed forces become alerted to the presence of the teenagers, Ellie and her friends, along with a apathetic stoner recruit – must band together to escape, outwit and strike back against the mysterious enemy that has seized control of the their town and imprisoned their friends and loved ones.

Basic Information

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Filming Locations: Blue Mountains, Australia; Sydney, Australia
  • MPAA Warning: Some violence
  • Production Budget: $27 million
  • Production Companies: Ambience Entertainment, Omnilab Media
  • Production Schedule: 28 September 2009 - November 2009

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2010 Guide Analysis: "On the surface sounding like "Red Dawn" set in a small Australian town, John Marsden's seven book 'coming-of-age in a war zone' series was sold on the pitch of it being one of the most popular Australian series ever published. As someone who has lived in Sydney almost all my life, I'd never heard even a mention of it until the film announcement - and I read a lot. However the series didn't start until the late 90's, after my time at school, so its fanbase is very much the teenagers and early twenty-somethings of today.

Screen Australia and Paramount Vantage are teaming for this purely Aussie production that hopes to be the first in a trilogy and is helped immensely by a big fat tax break for keeping its shoot local. Stuart Beattie, best known for his scripts for the likes of "Australia," "Collateral" and "G.I. Joe", is adapting and directing the film which hopes to be the first fully Australian commercial action movie since the "Mad Max" films. Certainly its budget, around $54 million U.S. dollars, is quite considerable for a 'purely local' film.

The cast is made up of a few soap stars (Lewis, Stasey) and some young unknowns aside from British actress Rachel Hurd-Wood who worked Down Under before on 2003's "Peter Pan". Tone wise don't expect the seriousness of "Red Dawn", Beattie saying if 'Dawn' is "Striptease", then 'Tomorrow' is more like "The Full Monty" - similar premise, completely different approaches. Shot around the Hunter Region in New South Wales over October and November last year, the film is already in post.

Several questions come up here. First is tone, the books are apparently quite realistic and dark which makes the film's rating likely to be higher but could alienate the core audience of young teenagers. Second is the enemy troops whose country of origin goes unnamed in the books, an idea that simply doesn't work on film - how will that be handled? Finally there's appeal - can a story like this cross over with international audiences?"

Trailers & Clips

Watch this films trailers
  • Trailer (1m 31s)03.30.10

Worldwide Release Dates

  • 2 September 2010: Australia, New Zealand
  • 10 February 2011: Slovenia
  • 24 February 2011: Kazakhstan, Russia
  • 4 March 2011: Spain
  • 17 March 2011: Portugal
  • 1 April 2011: Finland
  • 7 April 2011: Denmark, United Arab Emirates
  • 8 April 2011: Ireland, Sweden, UK
  • 15 April 2011: Norway, South Africa
  • 11 May 2011: Kuwait
  • 27 May 2011: Germany
  • 4 November 2011: Italy