Monday, 4 March 2013

Possible Plot For Brad Bird's Tomorrowland Revealed

Brad Bird is churning away on his super-secret project for Disney. Previously titled 1952 and based on a collection of bits-and-bobs stored away in a box within the walls of Disney, the film is being written by Prometheus/Star Trek Into Darkness scribe, Damon Lindelof; Bird and Lindelof are both producing. Towards the end of January, we found out that the film is now officially called Tomorrowland, and speculation ran rampant over what that might entail. Well, provided these new rumours are moderately accurate, the film just became a lot less mysterious...

HitFix has an exclusive scoop in the form of a very brief synopsis sent out 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."

Well, I think it's safe to say that nobody called that. Jim Hill postulated an exciting and entirely credible sounding theory for what the film might be about, the crux of it being: aliens. Apparently Disney was working on a TV special, on behalf of the US government (with whom he had worked closely several times during WWII), to break the news that UFOs and aliens do exist. But then all that went away. So you get the idea: sci-fi/thriller/cover-up drama type of thing.

The reality, though, is like that in very few ways. Which I suppose makes sense; Jim Hill's idea sounds great, but what it does not sound like is a Disney film. I love Disney films - I wouldn't be writing this blog if it wasn't for Disney films, but the potentially darker drama imagined here doesn't sound like a fit for the Mouse House. The reality, however, does - and it sounds great, to boot!

(L-R): Director/producer Brad Bird, star George Clooney and screenwriter/
producer Damon Lindeolf

George Clooney's signed on to star, and we heard recently that Hugh Laurie was too, and HitFix has a breakdown of exactly what roles each star will fill, and so much more, below:

"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.

Hugh Laurie is set to play the villainous Nix.

"By the time we meet Frank in the film, he's much older, and George Clooney is set to play the part. Nix is the role that Hugh Laurie is signed for, and by the point the main story of the film kicks in, 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."

Bird directs on location for Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol.

Now that is an exciting, original-sounding premise! A quirky, innovative fantasy, not to mention one with a kinda-family unit at the centre of it, does sound like a Disney film - and the premise, to me, calls to mind 2011's very good, similarly-original, Hugo. Lindelof's proved himself with complex stories and screenplays, like Lost, (though he's not without his detractors), and Brad Bird is a proven director in terms of sci-fi (The Iron Giant), grounding extraordinary stories with believable characters ,(The Incredibles, Ratatouille) and action (Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol); this is proving to be one of hell of an exciting project. We'll find out for certain how good it is in the world of tomorrow: 19th December, 2014, to be exact.

Of course, there's still a good chance that none of this is true...

Via /Film.

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