They have both taught us all lessons in WINNING!
Ok so, England lost but they reached the final and played extremely well. Gareth Southgate is a gentleman manager and Raheem Sterling especially is a great kid. Who knows where it leads for next year’s world cup? Meanwhile, THE TOMORROW WAR has been a massive hit, against all odds and a sequel is imminently racing into pre-production. There is a connection in these events..
- FINALLY, HOPE! :
Both football and film are learning to focus on the present and future. No more bemoaning the past or trying to recreate its beats. TOMORROW WAR manages to capture the spirit of 1980s sci-fi action like Star Wars and Aliens yet remembers to be its own thing rather than some rushed out soft reboot. England is finally abandoning the 25 year mantra of referencing its own failures or precipitously propping personal footballer ego. This is a team with a solid work ethic to match.
- The torch has been passed!
You don’t need to make Chris Pratt the new Indiana Jones or indeed have him play some half baked Han Solo rip off in Jurassic World. Instead, harness his heart and warmth and physicality whilst retaining that comedic charm and everyman vulnerability he showed back in Parks and Recreation, just in a differing genre key.
And England is now a brand as a team again. There was little to any veneration of one player over another; no resentful holding back or biding time to the return of the club season. A selfless spirit of sporting craft is back in the game at last, whilst allowing for the goal scorers and savers to stand out on merit, game by game.
- It pays to be the underdog!
TOMORROW WAR was up against some bizarrely negative hype and a subtext of disapproval over Chris Pratt’s traditionalism and commitment to God/family/country. You cannot place it but the tide was ‘there’. To be fair, Amazon did not help things imho, because the release pattern seemed out of place and the promotion was scattered. And yet, that very lack of expectation was ultimately an asset. They played an absolute blinder!
By allowing people to discover this gem of a new movie, the organic word of mouth and online traffic has somehow secured rather than compromised the commercial fortune. THIS is the new ‘viral’ marketing. England football, likewise. By starting slow (some meh draws / minimal wins), they built momentum.
Nobody, anywhere, seemed to be talking about this as a finalist team in waiting. Yet things picked up pace and the pride, patriotism and power grew accordingly. The trick is to be calmly confident and build interest. No more gloom and doom wallowing in projected failure but equally avoid all sense of entitlement to success. Let the WORK speak for itself.
- LUCK AND TIMING
As ever, some things come down to how the cards are stacked either for or against you. You cannot manufacture a national mood or cinematic brand feeling and when you try to do so, it will backfire. Sometimes, things just happen, come together and gel when least expected. And provided that you work hard meantime to craft great product in everything that you do? Then your team/brand/country/movie can feel like they are always on top.
So England now has a chance at world cup glory but must not overhype that or rule it out. PLEASE BANISH THAT GHASTLY ‘THREE LIONS’ SONG, FOREVER. It is cursed with loser dust! Always loathed it, its sentiments and the two ‘comedians’ who fronted it.
And Pratt and co can make a sequel their own without sabotaging things by feeling a need to go ‘bigger’ or ‘darker’ or introduce new universe building and backstory. Unless of course, things simply lead that way, organically.
If you need a symbolic personification of that very ethic? None other than TOM CRUISE took a rare day off to attend both Wimbledon and football finals. How did he do that? I will tell you: he WORKED for it, over his whole career, across genres, always challenging and growing, taking the hits and bringing them in, while investing much in the UK en route. THAT is what winning looks like.
WELL DONE ENGLAND AND THE TOMORROW WAR.
You have inspired a new generation of football and film fan, alike.