Recently, fellow blogger Carmen Navarro of Carmen Navarro Designs attended a press junket for “Tomorrowland” while I was at the doctor having my ankle looked at. The “Tomorrowland” Press Junket was clearly loads of fun and oh how I wish I could have been there.
Tomorrowland Press Junket swag included a “Tomorrowland” hoodie, hat, a pin, a book and two CDs.
At the “Tomorrowland” Press Junket were Brad Bird, Screenwriter Damon Lindelof, Story writer Jeff Jensen, and cast members George Clooney, Britt Robertson, Tim McGraw, and Raffey Cassidy all excitedly gathered to talk about the upcoming film.
Did you know that this film evolved from conversations with people at Disney at that the television critic Jeff Jensen was involved with the film? I had no idea either! Apparently, Damon Lindelof was having lunch with Sean Bailey, who just happens to be the President of Production at Disney. They were discussing Marvel movies (shut the front door, we all love Marvel in this household), because they are both fans and how they had a ton of fantasy princess movies in the Disney wors, but that he wondered what else a Disney movie should be about. He then said, “I don’t know what it’s about, but I would see a movie called Tomorrowland.” There you have how the adventure begins. Damon has always been interested in the future and the movies he had seen about a future left him not wanting to experience that future. As he said, “I think that, for me, I’ve always been really interested in the future and I kind of feel like all the movies that I’ve been exposed to over the course of the last 20-30 years have shown me a future that I don’t really want to be living in. it’s cool to watch, but teenagers trying to kill other teenagers, or robots eradicating mankind, or you know, apocalyptic wastelands, albeit populated by Charlize Theron, are all great.”
I was interested in how Tim McGraw got cast to play in this movie as it’s different from “Friday Night Lights” and “The Blind Side” both about football ironically enough. He has three daughters so to see him in a nurturing light is definitely more “true to life” he says. Tim even talked about how there were a lot of parallels for him in this role, and that he had to be upset in a scene with Britt Robertson and that he had just been upset with his daughter the night before.
Newcomer for some but, definitely up and coming actress Raffey Cassidy was the one in charge of keeping them focused. We had a one-on-one with her, so after the movie airs on the 22nd, you’ll see more from that one-on-one sit down interview. Ironically she’s only 13 now and was probably 12 at the time of filming. She’s so professional and focused at such a young age that we will see more from her for sure. Casey and Athena or Britt and Raffey spent a lot of time together between stunt training and filming the movie and that chemistry shows on screen.
Of course, I know you’re all drooling wanting to hear what George Clooney had to say about “Tomorrowland” so without further ado, here are some of his thoughts.
George Clooney said, “You know, listen. First and foremost, I think it is a really bold thing for Disney to be willing to do a film that isn’t a sequel and isn’t a comic book, to really invest in a summer film of this sort of ilk. The fun part of it, to me, was when you read the screenplay, although I have to say, just so we’re clear, when Damon and Brad showed up at my house, they said, “We’ve got a part that we’ve written for you.” And then I opened up the description of the character and it’s a 55-year-old has-been, and I’m kind of going, “Hang on a minute, which part am I reading for?”
Jeff retorted with, “It said genius, by the way. It said genius.”
Don’t worry Jeff, I’m with you. Just be glad you don’t look 55 George and that you’re a genius.
Photo Credit: OC Mom Blog
George was quick with a comeback. “It said former genius, boy genius, who has gotten bitter in his old age. I just loved the idea of, you know, we live in a world right now where you turn on your television set and it’s rough out there. And it’s not fun. And it can really wear on you after a period of time. And we see generations now feeling as if it’s sort of hopeless, in a way, and what I love about it is it sort of speaks to the idea that your future is not preordained and predestined, and that if you’re involved, a single voice can make a difference and I believe in that. I happen to believe in it, and so I loved the theme or the idea that, you know, there’s still so much that we can all do to make things better. And I liked it. I thought it was great.”
One press individual was bold enough to ask George Clooney about becoming a father later and Britt responded with “Wow” as she was clearly shocked but his answer was priceless. “I knew you were going to get to it somehow. I didn’t think you’d go the Mother’s Day route to get there. I thought you’d do, “There’s a little kids who’s you as a young boy, does it make you feel like you should have a little boy like that boy, that looks like you sort of, like having a child?” But no, you went, “You know, you have a mother, and most of us have mothers, and wouldn’t you like to be a father somehow?” You can go back and tell everyone you asked the question. But thank you for asking.”
Another comment by Clooney was this, “Listen, I actually grew up during the Cold War period. And I always found that although we always thought that the world would end in a nuclear holocaust at some point, everybody was pretty hopeful. There were an awful lot of things going on that you felt you could change. I grew up in an era where the voice, the power of the one, really did feel as if it mattered. You know, we had the riots that are reminiscent of the things we are looking at today, but we had the Civil Rights Movement and we had Vietnam. And we had the Women’s Rights Movements and all those things that you felt you could actually have some part of changing. And actually, if you look at the things that changed in the 1960s and early 1970s, individual voices did make a huge difference. It wasn’t governments doing it, necessarily.
I didn’t ever have that great disappointment in mankind. I always felt like it was going to work out in the end. And I still feel that way. And so what I loved about the film was that it reminds you that, you know, young people don’t wake up, they’re not born and start out their lives cynical, or angry, or bigoted. You have to be taught all of those things. And I watch the world now and think I see really good signs from young people out there. And I feel as if the world will get better. And I’ve always been an optimist. I’ve been a realist, but I’ve been an optimist about it. And I really related to the film because I thought, you know, Brad and Damon want to tell a story that’s an entertainment, because first and foremost, it has to be an entertainment. But it is hopeful, and I’ve always felt that way myself.”
In 2013, Brad Bird revealed that “Tomorrowland” was inspired by an inexplicable box found in the Walt Disney Archives, labeled 1952, which was the original title for this movie. At the D23 Expo 2013, Lindelof and Bird sorted through the contents of the box to the audience, and an app was released as well, displaying all the contents of the box. How all these elements tie into the story is still unknown.
In the viral campaign, The Optimist, questions were raised which involved Walt Disney as a member of a secret society known as Plus Ultra. There are ties with the 1964 World’s Fair which involved some projects that Disney did not want revealed to the public. Although Walt Disney is not a character in this film, he is mentioned as having interest in finding this place called Tomorrowland.
As with most Disney the tie-ins are relevant throughout the film. How this all ties into the story will be revealed in full on May 22nd 2015, but buy the novel Before Tomorrowland if you would like insight now.
Brad tells us all that the message of this movie is to make a better world for the future, for our generation, and the generations to come. Walt Disney wanted to create “Tomorrowland” and one day I hope there is a “Tomorrowland“ to visit. They talked about that a bit, but I think you need to see the movie before I go divulging anymore magic that makes the movie awesome. Avoiding spoilers with such a great storyline is virtually impossible.
Check out Disney’s Tomorrowland – Vision Of Tomorrow Featurette
“Tomorrowland” opens in U.S. theaters on May 22nd, 2015.
Dreamers must stick together. I still believe and yes you’ll cry.