Brad Bird’s next film has been announced as “Tomorrowland,” but there’s a shroud of mystery surrounding the films plot and the ideas behind it. The film;s writer Damon Lindelof just gave a long interview to Grantland in which he talks about the multitude of projects he’s connected to. One of those is Tomorrowland, which was originally called “1954,” a very time specific title.
The rumor is that Bra Bird turned down an offer to direct “Episode VII” to make “Tomorrowland,” must be an interesting story:
I’ve always been fascinated by Disneyland and Disney World, and my favorite part of the park was always Tomorrowland. But there’s no story there. Like, if you go into Fantasyland, there’s just story happening all around you everywhere, whether it’s sort of a direct kind of connection to a movie that you know or a fairy tale that you know, and the same with, like, Frontierland, or when you go in the Haunted Mansion. My son, who’s 6, when he went on Pirates of the Caribbean for the first time, Jack Sparrow is a part of that ride. He’s going to see the movies in two years, when he’s old enough, and he’s going to think that the movies were the inspiration for the ride, versus the other way around. I would love to do that for Tomorrowland, you know? I would love to give Tomorrowland a story, because right now, Tomorrowland is kind of being taken over by Star Wars — which is great, but it’s called Tomorrowland. Star Wars is a galaxy a long time ago, far, far away. Star Wars is not about our future.
And there’s this Neil deGrasse Tyson speech — you can YouTube it — and he gave an eloquent and beautiful talk about how the abandonment of the space program after we landed on the moon is responsible for the fact that we no longer have an optimistic view of our future. I just said, “There’s a movie in there somewhere.” And that was the beginning of me curating this rather fascinating “is it or isn’t it?” Disney history in this kind of Dan Brown, Da Vinci Code way. Like, all these things that I didn’t know about, the history of Tomorrowland in the park, and could that be the basis of something? Even though the movie is not about the park — I will say this exclusively to you, that none of the movie takes place in a Disneyland park. It doesn’t, but that history became the inspiration for this amazing story. I brought Jeff Jensen in, who had come up with all these amazing theories about Lost while it was on, some of which were just so much better than what we were coming up with in the room. I said, “Come in and look at this stuff and talk to me about it,” and then we started coming up with the germs of a really cool story, and then at the same time, I was hanging out with Bird, because we were both in the Bad Robot universe; he was posting Ghost Protocol as we were working on Into Darkness. I kind of got my hooks in him because I started asking him all these questions about Disney, because he worked there for a number of years and was basically trained by a couple of the original Imagineers, and he was like, “Why are you asking me these questions?” and I said, “I’m working on this project regarding Tomorrowland,” and then he was in. And then we went and picked up George Clooney, and we were off to the races.
Now I’m even more intrigued. Anything that combines Disney, Futurism, and Mystery sounds great to me.
Hat Tip to BSD.