There’s no doubt about it, when Director Brad Bird takes on a project anticipation and expectations in geekdom can, for better or worse, swell to great heights. Add Lost co-creator Damon Lindleof into the mix and we’ve got a whole new set of feelings to wade through. When news came that Bird and Lindleof were working together on a project for Disney called 1952, film geeks everywhere perked up. Earlier this year when the title changed to Tomorrowland, many of us raised our eyebrows, as we figured this had to be tied in with the classic Disney sub-theme park — home of the infamous Space Mountain. So, just what could Bird and Lindelof be cooking up for Disney? And would Lindelof be bringing his particular brand of “mystery-box” writing to the project?
Fresh details on just what this Tomorrowland could bring, after the jump.
With George Clooney on board as leading man, and a December 2014 release date locked, Bird and Lindelof decided to begin the great tease this past January with tweeted photos of a box that apparently once belonged to Walt Disney himself. Filled with photographs, small parcels and even a few records, this mystery box was enough to get fans theorizing on what the film could be about. Many assumed that Clooney would be making contact with some form of alien life.
Well, Drew McWeeny at Hitflix has dropped some firm details on the project and it is like nothing we expected. Apparently not a logline, what follows is, according to McWeeny, “the official description that’s being used to help assemble a cast.”:
“A teenage girl, a genius middle-aged man (who was kicked out of Tomorrowland) and a pre-pubescent girl robot attempt to get to and unravel what happened to Tomorrowland, which exists in an alternative dimension, in order to save Earth.”
So there ya have it. As unexpected as this is, it at the same time feels very much of that retro World’s Fair-esque aesthetic that the real Tomorrowland is built around. McWeeny goes one step further with a boatload of possible story and world details:
“The “Tomorrowland” that they keep referring to in this break-down appears to be a place where science has blown past the world we live in, and when Frank Walker was a young man, he first encountered the promise of Tomorrowland at the 1964 World’s Fair. David Nix was there, showing off his own work, and he told Walker to come back when he was older and his inventions actually worked. A girl named Athena saw great promise in 11-year-old Frank, though, and she snuck him into Tomorrowland. Eventually, Frank was discovered by Nix and thrown out, but not before learning that the girl he loved, Athena, was actually a robot…
Nix has been the mayor of Tomorrowland for many years, and he’s become rotten, corrupt. Athena, unchanged since Frank was a young man, plays a key role in the film, and the hero is a girl named Casey who has a quick scientific mind that becomes important as the story unfolds. Nix is a guy who values technical accomplishment over creative thinking, and when he throws Frank out of Tomorrowland, he’s not alone. Every creative thinker is banished, allowing Nix to focus purely on aesthetics and technical advancement for its own sake.”
There’s interdimensional travel, human-looking robots, and a quest for revenge on the part of Frank. He is a bitter adult, and the film is not just about Casey’s adventure, but also about Frank rediscovering the kid he used to be. It sounds like young Frank actually plays a decent-sized role in the film, so we may see both timelines play out to some extent.”
With Clooney on board as the middle-aged Frank, and Hugh Laurie signed as his other-dimensional nemesis Nix, I think we could have a rousing sci-fi adventure film on our hands here. Though knowing how Bird and Lindleof have played their cards thus far, could there be even bigger and better reveals to come? I’m of the mind to temper expectations and say “wait and see”, but there’s no doubt that the hype and hope for this one will only build from here on out.