We’ve heard Damon Lindelof’s name bandied about a bit recently, mostly in regards to his TV work, what with the Lost ten year anniversary going down this year, and his new, rapture-themed series The Leftovers coming up on HBO. But just in case you forgot, or were trying to block it out, he’s also staying busy on the movie side of things. He co-wrote on the script for Brad Bird’s mysterious Tomorrowland, and offered a small update on the progress of that film.
Talking to Fred Topel at the recent Television Critics Association shindig, Lindelof discussed working with Disney, what he included in the script, and the notorious “mystery box.” Tomorrowland is, in a way that is not entirely clear at the moment, based on the Disneyland them park that bears the same name. Though Mickey’s puffy white hand is firmly on the controls, Lindelof said he was never under any pressure to force certain pieces of the Disney mythology into the movie.
It had a tremendous amount of freedom to be a story because it was just a word…It was like any story that you present us that has the word Tomorrowland in it that you can build a movie around, that’s the only mandate. It’s not like you need to have Space Mountain in it, there needs to be some reference to Buzz Lightyear and preferably Star Jets. None of that happened. It was essentially run with it. Not any constraints.
Lindelof, along with frequent co-conspirator J.J. Abrams, is known for playing things close to the vest when it comes to doling out plot details and spoilers before a movie hits, and being cryptic. Regarding Tomorrowland, the most well known example of this is the so-called mystery box. Before he quit the Twitter lifestyle, Lindelof tweeted a picture of a box full of Disney artifacts that hint at the plot. Full of all sorts of fun goodies, one stands out to him. Lindelof’s personal favorite is:
There’s correspondence between Walt Disney and Orson Welles. As a huge Welles-file, just the idea that those two were writing letters to each other in the early 1950s was fascinating to me, because that’s not a synergy that you think. Lo and behold, the tenor of the letters, while polite, sort of showed why those guys could never really collaborate on a project together. But I just loved the idea that they almost did.
Starring George Clooney, Tomorrowland doesn’t come out until the summer of 2015. The story follows Casey, a “bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity,” who meets up with a “former boy-genius inventor jaded by disillusionment.” Together they “embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory as Tomorrowland.”