NY Comic Con: Tomorrowland panel and footage description!

Today at New York Comic-Con, Walt Disney Pictures brought their first look at TOMORROWLAND, the highly-anticipated, and highly mysterious, new film from director Brad Bird. The film stars George Clooney, Britt Robertson, Hugh Laurie and Raffey Cassidy.

By now, I’m assuming you’ve already seen the teaser trailer. It was very cool. But we got an additional treat that I’ll describe in a bit.

Moderator Chris Hardwick introduced writer Damon Lindelof and director Brad Bird. Here are a few notes:

- Talking about how the project originated: Lindelof had lunch with Disney president Sean Bailey and mentioned that he initially thought making a movie out of a theme park ride would be ridiculous, but PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN turned out so cool and changed his mind. He then said to Bailey he would totally see a movie called TOMORROWLAND, based of course on the Walt Disney World Attraction. That got him started.

- Lindelof brought Entertainment Weekly Jeff Jensen in to do research on the creation of Tomorrowland. They found a box filled with all sorts of weird stuff, they didn’t know where it came from or who put that stuff in. Amazing Stories mag from the 20s, a “laserdisc thing”, maps, puzzles. They said who cares where it came from, “let’s make a movie about this.”

- Lindelof worked on Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol for a month, and while there he pitched the idea to Brad Bird.

They then presented the teaser trailer. Once more, if you haven't seen it, definitely give it a look HERE.

- Lindelof was asked to describe as much plot as possible. He said: There’s a pin that Casey comes into contact with that transports her to this other world. She wants to know more about what she’s seen. She’s been given the pin by a character named Athena, but they wouldn’t talk more about her.

- Britt Robertson, Hugh Laurie and Raffey Cassidy (Athena) come up on stage, to talk briefly about their characters. Predictably, they weren’t able to say much.

- Cassidy’s character isn’t a bad character, but not very good either. She doesn’t have much regard for other people’s feelings.

- Laurie got involved because he was asked by Lindelof and Bird if he wanted to hear their pitch. Instead of a traditional pitch. “What they described to me was an attitude about life and the future. I had never heard anyone articulate this idea, either for the subject of a movie or a way of thinking about the world. These guys are onto something really exceptional and powerful and uplifting.”

- Hugh also said the scale of the project boggled his mind.

- Britt had this to say about her character: “I am a dreamer and I get recruited by someone to explore Tomorrowland.”

- Hugh Laurie started talking smack about Clooney for about a minute before Clooney walked on stage to huge applause. He said he had to explain to his new wife that they’d be spending their honeymoon at Comic-Con.

- Clooney made a joke that since his Batman he was dis-invited to any Comic-Cons. He saw Adam West and West said, “Hey, I’m really sorry.” Clooney apologizes for the nipples on the suit and saying “Freeze, Freeze!” - Clooney complains that he’s barely in the teaser. “I don’t want to say anything, but I’m a big star.” He then convinced Damon and Brad to show more footage.

- The scene begins with Casey (Britt Robertson) hoppinga gate into Clooney’s property. Security cameras are everywhere. The house looks old and crumbling. She introduces herself to him and he yells from behind the front door, wants her to go away.

- Suddenly, she gets blown backward by something, like an invisible forcefield. He comes out an yells at her. She wants him to take her “there,” she feels like she’s supposed to go. He says she’s been manipulated, tells her she’s not special.

-Cut to later that night. It’s raining, she sits by his front door. He watches her from inside via the security monitor. It’s clear that the inside is a lot more technologically advanced than the exterior would lead you to believe. Suddenly, he sees that a tractor is on fire outside; he rushes out to put it extinguish it. He has a high-tech fire extinguisher that turns the entire tractor to a giant ball of ice. Meanwhile, Casey sneaks inside. As he approaches the door, she blasts him backward just as he did to her. While he recovers, she looks around his place. Computers and monitors are everywhere, most of the TVs show TV news: war and destruction. He enters from a secret door under the stairs and tells her to get out.

”Is that a countdown?” she asks him, referring to a clock. Countdown to what, we don’t know.

Suddenly a bunch of cars show up on his front lawn. She was followed there. A weird smiling man announces that he has to turn her over or “be extinguished.”

- From there at least a half dozen similar men break into Clooney’s place, it immediately becomes clear these are androids. But Clooney’s house is booby-trapped up the wazoo: One robot gets caught in a electric trap and his head comes off. Another is stuck to a wall thanks to what must be a giant magnet behind it.

- There’s a weird ring thing that things apaprently disappear through, Casey throws it around one of the robots and half of his body disappears through it. She beats another with a bat,pummels in his face. That doesn’t stop him.

- Clooney tells Casey to get into the bathtub with him. “How exactly is this a good idea,” she asks. Like everything else in the house, it’s not what it seems: it’s a space pod of some sort. The roof is about to close over it when one of the robots stops it by grabbing it. Clooney decides to blast off anyway - cut to an exterior shot of the house as the pod shoots off into the air. End of footage.

This was a whole lot of fun. The tone and pace were very fast and funny; definitely family-friendly, but with just enough weirdness to elevate it into something else. It would be very accurate to call the scene itself and the directing style “Spielbergian,” and to compare its overall style to an Amblin film wouldn’t be inaccurate.

Was already excited for TOMORROWLAND, but what I saw today solidified that this is one of the must-see movies of 2015. (It hits on May 22.)

Source: JoBlo.com



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