Brad Bird's Sci-Fi 'Tomorrowland' Teased at D23 with Exhibit + Footage
What mysteries lie hidden within Disney's Tomorrowland? We won't find out until December 2014, but Disney has started teasing Brad Bird's new sci-fi project set to star George Clooney, Hugh Laurie and Britt Robertson. At the D23 Expo this weekend in Anaheim, Disney launched their first big marketing campaign for Tomorrowland, which involved screening a Lost-like animated teaser containing odd footage and an exhibit on the convention floor exploring the various objects found inside the 1952 "mystery box" which has been a key part of the viral marketing for this so far. Not too much else was revealed aside from a logo (seen below) but many colleagues in attendance seem particularly buzzy on the mystery surrounding this movie.
Tomorrowland was included as part of Disney's live-action presentation on Saturday. The press email sent out (with logo) was also vague: "The D23 audience was treated to a glimpse into the mysteries surrounding Disney's Tomorrowland as Sean Bailey and filmmakers Brad Bird (director, co-writer, producer) and Damon Lindelof (co-writer, producer) talked about the inspiration of the secrets of the black box, which was featured in a short behind-the-scenes piece screened for the audience about the visionary Walt Disney. Although the audience was buzzing with questions, Bailey remained coy, but then announced a special, surprise Tomorrowland exhibit opening in the afternoon on the D23 floor that would reveal the contents of the box and more." I'm not sure about the "and more" part, but at least the mystery box was on full display.
Here's the official logo for Disney's Tomorrowland, which we've already seen floating around in marketing materials. Photo of the D23 exhibit's display above comes from @GermainLussier on Instagram. Disney would not allow any photos inside of the actual exhibit, so that's the only clear shot we'll be seeing for now.
During the presentation, Disney showed "long lost animated" footage from a disc found in the 1952 briefcase that, as Peter Sciretta tweeted, was "filled with WTF". SlashFilm's Germain Lussier also tweeted: "They're marketing Tomorrowland like Lost. Old footage, skipping, teases, very cool stuff." A better description is from Eric Vespe of AICN, who writes: "The animation was definitely old school '60s era Disney style… The voiceover sounds a little like James Mason and he's talking about mankind's belief in progress which can be seen going back through all of recorded history… 'At long last, we have built that tomorrow. You are about to enter a world of miracles and wonders, a shiny beacon of hope for human kind. And in just 20 short years we will share this extraordinary place with the entire world. So, would you like to see it?'" Yes, please!
Alas, no one (even D23 attendees) got to see much of Tomorrowland. When I asked for more explanation behind what was shown in the showfloor exhibit (the one with no photos allowed), this is what I was told (via twitter): "It's just a collection of mysterious inspiration. Things they found that posed questions that informed the movie." The exhibit connects with a mobile app (download it here) that allows visitors to have a minor level of interaction and exploration. In addition, they gave iPads to everyone going into the exhibit which contained this app and allowed them to investigate some of the mysteries and specifically the contents of the 1952 "mystery box" briefcase which is directly connected to the sci-fi movie and its storyline.
If you're curious to dive more into Brad Bird's Tomorrowland, visit here and download the D23 app (this link was tweeted out by Damon Lindelof). For more on the actual presentation, the footage they saw, and the contents of the mystery box, visit Ain't It Cool News or SlashFilm. I was expecting Disney to reveal or at least tease much more from Tomorrowland than the same old stuff we've already seen (including even the logo). It's also shocking and unfortunate that they won't let anyone take photos of the exhibit - which seems counter-intuitive to building buzz based off of all the mysteries hidden in there. But that's there call.
Brad Bird's Tomorrowland is starting production this summer. Starring George Clooney, Hugh Laurie, Britt Robertson, Raffey Cassidy & Thomas Robinson, the action-packed adventure hits theaters December 12th, 2014. We'll be keeping an eye out for more updates, big or small, leading up to its release 16 months away.