Disney is officially cutting the ribbon on Tomorrowland.
The Brad Bird-directed sci-fi film began shooting a little over two weeks ago, and secrecy has remained tight on the project, which stars George Clooney and Hugh Laurie, and takes its title from the futuristic section of Disneyland. Today the studio sent out its start-of-production announcement, which confirmed a few plot points — but left a lot still unclear.
The studio’s official description of the movie makes it sound a little like something Walt Disney’s friend Ray Bradbury might have enjoyed:
“Bound by a shared destiny, a bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity and a former boy-genius inventor jaded by disillusionment embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory as ‘Tomorrowland.’”
The press release also listed the cast, although that has been known for some time. What the announcement doesn’t say is anything about the characters. It’s safe to guess Clooney is the “former boy-genius inventor” and Laurie is rumored to be the villain of the piece, although we’ll apparently have to wait for more details on his role.
The “bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity” would be Britt Robertson, best known as the kidnapped girl on Under the Dome, but also co-star of the thoughtful 2012 coming-of-age love story The First Time. Raffey Cassidy, who played the child version of Kristen Stewart in Snow White and Huntsman in the film, although the Tomorrowland announcement doesn’t even hint at her character. Kid actor Thomas Robinson (The Switch) also has a major role in the film, but no word on who he plays either.
About the only thing fans have been presented about this movie is its tone — a mix of wonder, optimism, fantasy and old-school sci-fi of the kind Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, and Ursula K. Le Guin helped popularize. The filmmakers — Damon Lindelof, co-creator of Lost, who wrote the script with Bird and Entertainment Weekly’s own Jeff Jensen — have hinted at this mood in an indirect way, presenting a game for fans in the form of a Disney archive’s box full of odd items that influenced the film.
What’s all mean? Disney has released a free app exploring its peculiar contents, allowing everyone to investigate Tomorrowland for themselves.
The film, which is shooting in Vancouver, opens Dec. 12, 2014.