Potentially putting to rest months of speculation, a synopsis has been leaked for Disney's Tomorrowland, the upcoming science fiction film being directed by Brad Bird and written by Damon Lindelof.
Contrary to fan theories suggesting that the plot will revolve around extraterrestrial activity, Tomorrowland will allegedly be a tale of interdimensional travel, robots, saving the world, and maybe even revenge. The movie is set to star George Clooney as protagonist Frank, as well as Hugh Laurie as David Nix, the story's villain.
Speculation as to the nature of Tomorrowland (previously titled 1952) ramped up this past January when Bird and Lindelof tweeted images of a mysterious briefcase labeled "1952." The briefcase contained a copy of Amazing Stories, photographs of Walt Disney, and an old 45 record, among other things. Lindelof followed up their joint campaign of viral teasing with another tweet stating outright that the film had nothing to do with aliens whatsoever, but the prevailing hypothesis as to Tomorrowland's narrative put it in the same vein as productions like Close Encounters of the Third Kind regardless. However, the newly released synopsis - which is being used for casting purposes - should quash those notions ... if it's legitimate.
Check it out below, courtesy of Drew McWeeney at Hit Fix:
"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."
McWeeney expanded on things a bit with the following breakdown:
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.
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.
Permit me to be blunt here: that sounds infinitely more interesting than a story about Earth and UFOs. Everything about this story feels tailor-made for Bird's proclivities and interests as a storyteller - Nix sounds like a distant cousin to The Incredibles' Syndrome, another megalomaniac who prized technological advancement at the cost of his personal relationships, and Frank could end up being a very similar character to Bob Parr (A.K.A. Mr. Incredible), a man who possessed amazing gifts but found himself suppressed and shunned and left unable to exercise them freely.
Meanwhile, the Iron Giant parallels almost feel like they need not be articulated whatsoever. Obviously, period sensibility links the two of them together, and it sounds like Bird will be once more exploring the humanity of a machine through Athena, though I suspect that examination will play out much differently given that Athena reads as more of a supporting player. Casey could easily be the film's Hogarth, too. Combine all of these elements with the dimension-hopping and the alternate universes and you've got a recipe for supremely compelling sci-fi filmmaking.
However, one caveat must be granted: Disney could've released a false synopsis to avoid revealing the true plot. Of course, it's not uncommon for high profile projects like this to use false names in casting calls in an effort to avoid leaks to the public, so anything's possible at this point. As far as I'm concerned, if the synopsis is legitimate, then Tomorrowland is quickly shaping up to be one of my most anticipated 2014 releases.
What do you think, Screen Rant readers? Are you disappointed that the film won't involve aliens or are you excited that the story might involve robots and alternate dimensions? Let us know in the comments.
Tomorrowland is expected to hit theaters on December 19th, 2014.
Source: Hit Fix