“You wanted to see Tomorrowland. Here it comes.”
As you might have surmised, if you’ve visited Disneyland or EPCOT recently to see the previews, the next big Walt Disney Studios film up for release is the new Brad Bird movie, “Tomorrowland.”
In a recent press junket, Bird, Screenwriter Damon Lindelof, Story writer Jeff Jensen, and cast members George Clooney, Britt Robertson, Tim McGraw, and Raffey Cassidy all gathered to talk about the upcoming film.
(Audio from the Q&A follows. WARNING: SPOILERS THROUGHOUT THE INTERVIEW. PLAY AUDIO/READ FURTHER AT YOUR OWN RISK)
–Brad Bird on Walt Disney’s influence on “Tomorrowland:” “Some of the very last things that Walt Disney filmed were about this experimental prototype community of tomorrow…And he was talking about the park and he said, ‘yeah, there will be an amusement park kind of like Disneyland, but the whole reason to do it, the main attraction, is this!’ And he pointed to the city and said, ‘it’s going to be an actual place that you can try ideas and we’ll take corporations and we’ll collaborate with them on new ideas, and sell the ideas to the world, and try them out.’…Which part of it do you think wasn’t done? It’s that part. And it’s understandable, because you needed somebody like Disney as a catalyst to make it happen. But on his deathbed, he was looking up at the ceiling and pointing out how the city would be laid out…The fact that he was, to his last moments, dreaming about this future and making crazy ideas happen, and be real, and accelerate the pace of that, was very moving to me. And if the movie caught even a little bit of that, I think we will have succeeded.”
–Raffey Cassidy on the relationship between her character and Britt Robertson’s character: “I think the relationship between Casey and Athena is quite friendly, because Athena just wants to get Casey and Frank together, to try and save the world.”
–George Clooney on getting involved with the project: “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?'”
—Britt Robertson on the role of NASA as a source of futuristic optimism: “NASA represents this unknown, and the human race being able to explore the universe and other things that are out there…We’re talking about a movie that’s saying, ‘we don’t know what our future is. It’s not determined for us, and maybe if we go out there and explore the world, maybe if NASA wants to go and see what else is out there, then maybe that will have some helpful part in making our future something to be excited about.'”
—Tim McGraw on his experience playing a dad, versus his real-life role as a dad: “I was thinking of the scene where we were shooting in the car, Britt and I. We had a long conversation…We were talking about life and talking about guys. It was pretty reminiscent of some of the conversations that I’ve had with my daughters. In fact, I had to be upset in that scene and I had just been upset with my daughter…the night before about something. There were a lot of parallels for me, for sure, yeah.”
Damon Lindelhof and Jeff Jensen
–Damon Lindelhof on coming up with the movie’s concept: “…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.”
–Jeff Jensen: “…A lot of Disney really inspired and informed the movie, especially, I think, EPCOT, the whole idea and original idea behind EPCOT, and how that evolved as a sort of laboratory for the future.”
–Clooney on the theme of “Tomorrowland:” “…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.”
“Tomorrowland,” rated PG, will be released in theaters May 22, 2015.