Tomorrowland is the upcoming Disney tentpole co-written and directed by The Incredibles and Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol‘s Oscar-winning helmsman, Brad Bird. The film is partially based on the Walt Disney theme park attraction “land” of the same name, but the history behind Disneyland was also an important source of inspiration – as co-screenwriter Damon Lindelof (Prometheus) has explained in the past.
The above Tomorrowland TV spot (which debuted on the small screen during the Walking Dead season five finale) offers a fairly nice and clean outline of the film’s premise: young Casey Newton (Britt Robertson) discovers not just the existence of a fantastical realm known as Tomorrowland, but also her true destiny. That would be to “fix the future,” as Hugh Laurie’s mysterious character puts it – what that means, however, is another matter.
Previous trailers for Tomorrowland have also hinged on selling the movie as a “Hero’s Journey” adventure, with Robertson as the protagonist and George Clooney as the mentor figure who guides Casey on her quest to “save tomorrow(land).” However, it seems clear that there’s a whole lot of information (such as character details and/or world-building mythology) that U.S. marketing for the film is leaving out.
The footage we saw at the 2014 NYCC Tomorrowland panel left a stronger impression than the marketing for the general public – a campaign that’s perhaps been most reminiscent of Disney’s marketing push for TRON: Legacy, as it were. That NYCC material made it more clear that Tomorrowland will include everything film fans have come to expect from (and love about) Bird’s directorial efforts: thrilling adventure that blends heartfelt drama and thoughtful themes with exhilarating action sequences and set pieces (and, perhaps above all else, a sense of fun).
On one hand, it’s refreshing to think that Disney might be holding back the best stuff from Tomorrowland for until people sit down and watch the film in theaters. On the other hand, upcoming movies such as Avengers: Age of Ultron and Star Wars: The Force Awakens have unveiled just enough to keep moviegoers excited – without also revealing “the really cool stuff” during the run-up to their theatrical debuts. It’s hard to determine right now if the Mouse House’s Tomorrowland hype-building campaign is working equally well.
It’s for that reason that Bird’s film remains something of a dark horse in the upcoming Summer Movie Season, even though it’s one of our staff’s most anticipated 2015 releases. Who knows, though; maybe Tomorrowland is the movie that everyone will be taking about when August rolls around – as opposed to, the buzzed about summer franchise revivals like Jurassic World and Terminator Genisys. After all, last year a little movie called Guardians of the Galaxy stole the thunder from many of the summer tentpoles based on pre-established movie properties.
Here is the official synopsis for Tomorrowland:
Bound by a shared destiny, a bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity and a former boy-genius inventor jaded by disillusionment embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory as “Tomorrowland.”
Rounding out the Tomorrowland supporting cast alongside Britt Robertson, George Clooney, and Huge Laurie are such names as Judy Greer (Archer), Kathryn Hahn (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty), Keegan-Michael Key (Key and Peele), and Raffey Cassidy (Snow White and the Huntsman).
Tomorrowland opens in U.S. theaters on May 22nd, 2015.
Source: Walt Disney Pictures