tomorrowland: a world beyond
The future can be what it used to be... Joseph McCabe explores Tomorrowland: A World Beyond
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.”