At Sundance this year, Randy Moore‘s Escape from Tomorrow gathered some buzz, not because of the quality of the picture, but because of how brazenly it provoked a fight with a major studio. The plot involves a father who slowly starts losing his mind as he’s dragged through the nightmarish hellscape of the famous amusement parks. The film was largely shot at Disney World and Epcot, and the filming was unauthorized (also, Disney probably would prefer if their theme parks aren’t depicted as nightmarish hellscapes). Once Escape from Tomorrow played at Sundance, there was speculation that the movie could be banned and buried by Disney’s lawyers, so scarcity made it an appealing ticket. However, it was eventually picked up for distribution, and will be released on October 11th. I saw the film at Sundance, and did not care for it.
According to THR, Disney is doing the smart thing, and ignoring Escape from Tomorrow. The marketing is designed sell the movie on controversy, and Disney isn’t taking the bait. The studio and the filmmakers could have a legitimate court battle revolving around Fair Use and trespassing, but Disney is wisely keeping the lawyers on a leash to avoid drawing more attention to Moore’s picture. This means that Escape from Tomorrow will likely remain at best a curiosity among cinephiles rather than something that garners the attention of the mainstream.