The sci-fi film project that Brad Bird, Damon Lindelof and George Clooney have been working on for Disney now has a new name, “Tomorrowland”. The movie had been originally announced under a working title of “1952”, but in a recent very short press release, Disney revealed the official title:
The Walt Disney Studios has announced that its live-action release previously known as 1952 will be titled Tomorrowland. The film will be released domestically on December 19, 2014. George Clooney (The Descendants) is set to star. Tomorrowland is written by Damon Lindelof and Brad Bird from a concept by Lindelof and Jeff Jensen. Lindelof (Star Trek, Lost, Prometheus) will produce and Bird (The Incredibles, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol) will produce and direct.
With such a short press release and the title change, rumors have started flying in all sorts of directions. Will the movie be based on the theme park Tomorrowland in Disneyland or the Magic Kingdom? Lindelof and Bird have also been adding to the rumors, by teasing the Twitterverse with an image of a box (see below) that could contain ideas for Tomorrowland. Inside the box is a copy of the book “Model Research: The National Advisory Committee For Aeronautics 1918-1958” which was written by military history professor Alex Roland and published in 1985, an August 1928 edition of a magazine called “Amazing Stories” that featured a man in a flying suit on the cover (more about that in a minute), a 45 record, small rocket engine nozzle, and several pictures of Walt Disney.
At first glance, the images of Walt Disney certainly lead one to think that the movie could be about the creation of Tomorrowland itself? However, a Tom Hanks film, “Saving Mr. Banks”, is scheduled for release in December 2013, and is about P.L. Travers selling the rights to “Mary Poppins” to Disney. It doesn’t make sense that they’d follow that up with a similar movie that will be released so closely.
To me, the most interesting item in the box is the amazingly cool Frank Paul-illustrated cover from “Amazing Stories”, which contains three of the most important science-fiction writers of all time: H.G. Wells, Edward Elmer “Doc” Smith and Philip Francis Nowlan. In this issue, Nowlan penned a novella called “Armageddon 2419”, and the hero of this adventure is named Anthony Rogers who gets exposed to a radioactive gas while on the job for American Radioactive Gas Corporation. This exposure causes Rogers to fall into a sort of suspended animation for nearly 500 years. The character is later renamed, and I’m sure it’s a name you are probably more familiar with, Buck Rogers. It has me wondering if Disney might be doing a Buck Rogers reboot. Maybe, I’m just hoping for it to be so. One thing is certain. Now that we know Brad Bird’s “1952” has been renamed to “Tomorrowland”, we have more questions than ever.