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3/03/2013

Possible major plot details emerge for Brad Bird's 'Tomorrowland'


Brad Bird, Damon Lindelof, and Disney may be trying to throw us a curveball when it comes to their top secret project, Tomorrowland. And why wouldn't they? If the goal is to keep it as far under wraps as possible, why would they ever lead us nosy Internet geeks in the right direction? So far we've been led to believe the film is a riff on Close Encounters of the Third Kind, inspired by a box of old story notes Lindelof discovered on the Disney compound. But it may have all been a ruse, if the casting call discovered by HitFix is any indication.

The call sheet continues a rather significant plot blurb that does include Tomorrowland theme park, but also girl robots, alternate dimensions, and much more. If it's true, then pretty much everything we thought we knew has been totally off the mark. Check it out for yourself....

"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."

There's a lot more to it than that. HitFix says the middle-aged man is named Frank Walker, and is the character played by George Clooney. Frank was booted out of Tomorrowland at the age of 11 by David Nix, who is the villain played by Hugh Laurie. Before Frank was kicked out, he fell in love with Athena, a little girl who saw great promise in him, and also happens to be a robot. Here's the rest of Hitfix's detailed description...

"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 in charge of Disneyland 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."

So this version of Disneyland in the story sounds really dark, much darker than we'd expect Disney to be too gung-ho about. They aren't trying to jump in front of all this Escape from Tomorrow stuff by presenting their own dark take on the amusement park, are they? Eh, probably not, but it does make me wonder how much of this story is legit. Like I said earlier, this is a top secret project, so it's doubtful they'd spill such crucial plot points just to do a little casting. My guess is that this is an elaborate ruse, with small kernels of truth buried in there somewhere.  But taken at face value, then it sounds like exactly the sort of film I'd expect from Bird and Lindelof, and the sort of big adventure Disney doesn't do nearly enough anymore.

I'm sure there will be more mysteries to come before Tomorrowland opens on December 19th 2014.