to­mor­row­land: a world be­yond

The fu­ture can be what it used to be... Joseph McCabe ex­plores To­mor­row­land: A World Be­yond

SFX - - News -

Is this the next Pi­rates Of The Caribbean…?

he fu­ture. It’s the

land­scape at the heart of much of science fic­tion. A world of hope, pos­si­bil­ity… and dread.

“In 2015, the fu­ture that you and I have in­her­ited, the fu­ture that we’re are look­ing at, is largely a dystopia,”

To­mor­row­land: A World Be­yond writer­pro­ducer Da­mon Lin­de­lof tells SFX. “Movies and TV shows are ba­si­cally pre­sent­ing us with a world where sen­tient com­put­ers and ro­bots have taken over and wiped out mankind. En­vi­ron­men­tal ruin, ti­dal waves and earth­quakes have laid waste to the world. All of th­ese things from Planet Of The Apes through Blade Run­ner through The Ter­mi­na­tor through The Ma­trix through

The Hunger Games are show­ing us a fu­ture that’s not as pleas­ant as the fu­ture was back in the 1960s. Our movie ba­si­cally asks the ques­tion, ‘ What hap­pened? What hap­pened to our jet­packs?’”

a b lank s lat e To help an­swer that ques­tion, Lin­de­lof – work­ing with co- writer Jeff Jensen and direc­tor Brad Bird – has crafted a film that deals with “the very real, prag­matic, au­then­tic pre­sen­ta­tion of the fu­ture as we see it now in 2015.” At the same time, To­mor­row­land:

A World Be­yond draws in­spi­ra­tion from the past, in par­tic­u­lar the man who cre­ated the theme park at­trac­tion that gives the film its ti­tle: Walt Dis­ney.

“I was hav­ing lunch with Sean Bai­ley, who had just be­come the Pres­i­dent of Pro­duc­tion over at Dis­ney. Sean es­sen­tially said, ‘ What is a live- ac­tion Dis­ney movie th­ese days? What do you think it is?’ I said, ‘ Look, if I’m be­ing com­pletely hon­est with you, when I first heard that you guys were mak­ing Pi­rates Of

The Caribbean, I thought it was ridicu­lous. Who wants to see a movie that’s based on a theme park ride? But lo and be­hold, it ended up be­ing a stroke of ge­nius. Be­cause Gore Verbin­ski and Johnny Depp to­tally nailed it and made a re­ally en­ter­tain­ing and en­gag­ing movie. But more im­por­tantly, there’s no real story at­tached to Pi­rates Of The Caribbean. You had an op­por­tu­nity to make an orig­i­nal movie. You got to con­struct an en­tirely new mythol­ogy. It feels familiar, but you ac­tu­ally had a tremen­dous amount of space to come up with orig­i­nal ideas. So we should be do­ing more of that.’ He said, ‘ What do you mean?’ I said, ‘ Well, I would go and see a movie called To­mor­row­land.’

“That con­ver­sa­tion,” ex­plains Lin­de­lof, “was the in­cep­tion point. Be­cause I felt like when you go into To­mor­row­land in any Dis­ney park, there is no story there. There are rides and there are at­trac­tions, but there’s no sense of ‘ Who is the hero of this?’ We had to come up with that from ground zero. As I started re­search­ing the his­tory of not just To­mor­row­land, but the parks them­selves, the Imag­i­neers and then of course Walt – who was prob­a­bly the great­est vi­sion­ary of the 20th cen­tury in many ways – back­door­ing into the World’s Fairs, par­tic­u­larly the 1964 World’s Fair in Flush­ing Mead­ows, New York… With ev­ery­thing that I learned I was just like, ‘ Oh my god. This has got to be a part of the back­story of this movie.’ I just got com­pletely and to­tally cre­atively en­gaged.”

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