Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland is a rather complex bit of blockbuster entertainment, taking audiences on a trip that is have road movie, half big science fiction adventure. You’d think that the film’s creation would come out of a multiple big ideas on behalf of its filmmakers coming together, but the truth of the matter is that there really were two crucial elements that, when combined inspired the movie’s story: jet packs and the 1964 World’s Fair.
I recently had the fantastic opportunity to sit down one-on-one with Tomorrowland co-writer Damon Lindelof, and it was while discussing his collaboration with Brad Bird that he explained the conversation that they had that wound up leading to the idea for the film. Discussing the idea of making a movie around the titular Disney theme park land, Lindelof began talking with the Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol filmmaker, and it was out of their early conversations that the plot was developed from two key points. Lindelof explained,
Surely many ideas created early on didn’t make it into the final cut of the film, but the beginning of Tomorrowland does indeed begin with those two elements in play. We see the kid version of George Clooney’s character, Frank Walker, enter into the 1964 World’s Fair and enter a jet pack into an on-going inventor’s contest. From that point forward, jet packs actually play an interesting symbolic role in the rest of the movie, and the 1964 World’s Fair proves to be the launching point for the entire plot.
As random as the idea is of jet packs and the World’s Fair colliding to create Tomorrowland, what’s perhaps even stranger about this whole story is that Brad Bird and Damon Lindelof weren’t actually initially together to actually talk about that specific project. In fact, the Prometheus screenwriter explained to me that the whole thing probably would have gone a lot differently had he entered into the conversation with the idea that he would be pitching some of his thoughts. Said Lindelof,
Tomorrowland is now in theaters nationwide.
NJ native who calls LA home; lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran; endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.
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