Disney has been keeping a tight hold on the secrets of their upcoming film, [Tomorrowland](movie:731011), but at last week's New York Comic Con they finally broke their silence to share scenes and the smallest hints at the movie's storyline. But even after the panel - where the main cast tangoed with moderator Chris Hardwick around questions they weren't allowed to answer - we're left with little on the movie. What we do know is that this film is Disney's next move in bringing it's park attractions to the big screen, and with [Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales](movie:586017) already under way as the latest installment of the hit franchise, prospects look great. But can Disney pull it off again?
Tomorrowland, the film, was inspired by the discovery of a box containing snippets of news articles, old photos, and other content that were compiled for the park attraction, then tossed into Disney's vaults. At first, this mystery box was thought to be the beginnings of a movie known as "1952," but after the D23 expo and New York Comic Con, we know that this box served as inspiration for Tomorrowland. Hats off to director Brad Bird and writer David Lindeloff for their early teaser tweets with this box, which sent the internet into a frenzy over the wrong movie.
With leaks and photos trickling down the pipeline, though, have we really learned anything new about the film? Here's what we learned from New York Comic Con:
George Clooney is a Former Boy Genius Gone Rogue
Clooney's character, Frank Walker, is described as "a former boy-genius inventor jaded by disillusionment." Save for being tucked away, Frank's home within our reality doesn't appear to be out of the ordinary: white, a little old, and maybe a little large for a rugged guy living on his own. But when the film's heroine, Casey Newton (played by Britt Robertson), tracks Frank down and asks him to take her to Tomorrowland, everything changes. Frank's house is a veritable iron fortress, repelling Casey by blowing her back in mid-air with a magnetic forcefield.
After Casey tricks Frank and ducks into the house, she discovers so much more: technology advanced beyond our understanding, including a bathtub that transforms into a rocket ship. So what's the deal with this tech genius? Well, he's not from our Earth - he's a previous Tomorrowland prodigy, who ditched the place for reasons he doesn't want to talk about. Whatever they are, though, they don't seem to be very positive. We'll get to that in a second.
Getting to Tomorrowland Doesn't Involve Driving
Instead, Casey simply touches a mysterious pin and is suddenly there. Casey stumbles upon this pin while being released from a police station, supposedly after getting arrested. As a police officer reads off her list of possessions, he mentions a pin, which Casey says isn't hers. Regardless, she grabs it, and is suddenly in a gorgeous, golden field, with Tomorrowland on the horizon behind her. Whether this is the only way to get there or not is still up in the air, but this is how Casey discovers the world, and it's how we're brought into it as well.
Classic Disney Characters Will Appear
According to the panel and a few rumors, we're going to see some cameos from classic Disney characters, but not in the way you might think we will. Attractions such as It's a Small World, along with costumed characters, among them the Big Bad Wolf from The Three Little Pigs, and characters like Alice from Alice in Wonderland.
These tokens from our yesteryears will appear in a sort of meta fashion, as attractions within the movie at the World's Fair. This aligns with real life in a way: Disney brought costumed characters and their attractions to the World's Fair in 1964, so this could serve as a flashback within the movie and set up the movie's plot. Casey also lives in Florida, so we might end up watching her visit the massive Disney World theme parks in Orlando during the course of the film.
According to Bird, scenes were also shot within Disney's Carousel of Progress and Splash Mountain. It's a little hard to pinpoint what these modern-day attractions have to do with the movie - especially since It's a Small World and Splash Mountain have little to do with the Tomorrowland portions of Disney Parks - but those bits of information were some of the very few we received from the hush-hush helmer of the film.
Casey is a Science Nerd
Described as a young science enthusiast, the film's main character, Casey, lives in Florida and was present when NASA disassembled it's Cape Canaveral launchpads. Despite being something of a troublemaker - evidenced by her release from the police station - it seems like Casey knows her stuff, understanding the function of a few items in Frank's home, including his magnetic repeller, which she uses to keep him out of his home while she explores it.
Hugh Laurie's Character is a Fishy Doctor
When Chris Hardwick tried to ask about character personalities, Brad Bird shushed his cast pretty quick. So instead, the Nerdist asked the most basic question he could hope to get answers for: Is your character good or bad?
"I play a good character," replied Hugh Laurie, giving the audience a fairly daunting side-eye as the words rolled off his lips.
Let me tell you, folks: there's a difference between a good character and a character that's a good person. While Laurie's rumored "Doctor" may be an intriguing character, he seems more and more like he'll be the film's villain. What's more, Clooney's character seems to have a history with him, and it doesn't seem like a good one, in the least.
Either way, outside of leaked set photos, we know virtually nothing else about him; his character was distinctly left out of any clips shown at New York Comic Con and the D23 Expo.
The Cast is going to be (inter)Stellar
With big names such as Laurie and Clooney being accompanied by recognizable actors and actresses, and two young, slightly newer faces, we're shaping up for a fun film. One personal highlight is Keegan-Michael Key of Key & Peele fame, who has had smaller roles in [Parks and Recreation](series:214218) and [Let's Be Cops](movie:885786). Key is one of my favorite comedians at the moment, and seeing his comedic genius in a major Disney film fills my heart with joy. Joining him are Judy Greer (one of MP's favorite comedians), Kathryn Hahn, Tim McGraw, and fresh face Raffey Cassidy, who you might recognize from Dark Shadows.
This is all much more information than we've ever had before, but we still know just as much about what's going on here as we currently do with [Star Wars: Episode VII](movie:711158). We'll keep you posted right here at Moviepilot as info continues to release!
Check out the official teaser trailer for Tomorrowland below: