For all the seemingly improbable yet true headlines that the Sunshine State produces, here’s one most people might not expect to read: Florida man helps save human existence.
Yes, it’s true, at least in the movies.
When “The Tomorrow War” debuts exclusively on Amazon Prime, fans should be thrilled to discover that Florida plays a pivotal role in the new Chris Pratt sci-fi actioner.
Not only is the last bastion of resistance against an invading alien horde located here, but the southern part of the state gets blown to kingdom come by a Tampa native.
U.S. Air Force Maj. Joshua “Cabo” Gunderson, who graduated from Bloomingdale High School, appears briefly in “The Tomorrow War,” providing the general public with the first footage ever authorized for release by the military from inside the cockpit of an F-22A Raptor.
“Our team travels around the country and around the globe for air shows. We do about 25 events a year,” said Gunderson, who serves as Commander of the 14-member F-22 Demonstration Team, 1st Fighter Wing, which is based out of Langley, Virginia. “This just coincided with one of our events in Fort Lauderdale when we went down for the air show last year.”
Gunderson said the film crew was able to get footage when he and his team arrived by air, as well as shots of the fighter jets taxiing on the tarmac and of the ground crew launching them back out.
“We used one of the practice days for the air show, we lined that up with the film crew that was there recording ‘The Tomorrow War,’ and flew alongside the beach and got a bunch of cool shots there, inside the cockpit as well as out from the cockpit.”
While Gunderson has yet to see the entire film, he has viewed about 10 minutes of footage focused on the F-22’s, and he laughed when asked about the irony of a Tampa native being shown in a movie bombing Miami as a last-ditch effort to prevent an alien species from eradicating humans altogether.
“It was pretty wild to be there filming, pretty surreal to be a part of a movie and have the team be a part of it,” he said, “and to be from Tampa, be in Florida filming for a movie with the F-22 and the demonstration team representing the Air Force was a really cool experience for everyone on the team and for myself. We really enjoyed it.”
For those watching at home, Gunderson and his team appear in “The Tomorrow War” at about the 44-minute mark.
John W. Allman has spent more than 25 years as a professional journalist and writer, but he’s loved movies his entire life. Good movies, awful movies, movies that are so gloriously bad you can’t help but champion them. Since 2009, he has cultivated a review column and now a website dedicated to the genre films that often get overlooked and interviews with cult cinema favorites like George A. Romero, Bruce Campbell and Dee Wallace. Contact him at Blood Violence and Babes.com, on Facebook @BloodViolenceBabes or on Twitter @BVB_reviews.
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