Although the film won’t be released in theaters until December 2014, Disney is already kicking off their viral marketing campaign for Tomorrowland. Since the film isn’t based on an existing property — well, except the theme park exhibit, sort of — it’s probably a good move for Disney to build awareness for the science fiction family film sooner rather than later. At the moment, the only things going for Tomorrowland are the high-profile filmmakers and actors attached to the futuristic film, including Brad Bird, Damon Lindelof, George Clooney, and Hugh Laurie. The viral marketing campaign features an open Alternate Reality Game (ARG) called “The Optimist”, which will lead up to Disney’s annual fan celebration convention, D23, this August.
The Optimist begins with a description of the vision of Walt Disney. He built the Tomorrowland theme park with his Imagineers as a living blueprint for the future. The Optimist says that building Tomorrowland was just the beginning of Walt Disney’s vision.
The website then shifts attention to a young filmmaker named Amelia, who runs a film company called Story Orbit Film and has stumbled upon a revolutionary secret. The viral marketing campaign involves connecting with other Disney fans to help Amelia unlock the secrets of Tomorrowland. The clues inside of the website will lead up to Disney’s presentation of Tomorrowland at D23. The website is like a tumblr page or a personal blog that highlights bits and pieces of Tomorrowland through the framing device of this young filmmaker.
It’s pretty in-depth with blog posts, secret documents, and a map of the Tomorrowland theme park at Disneyland. The second character introduced through The Optimist is Wallace, who runs the Disney Cartography Website. If you follow both Amelia (@storyorbit) and Wallace’s (@dcartography) Twitter accounts, you can get more information about Tomorrowland and the characters’ quest to learn the secrets hidden within the Disney theme park. The ARG is pretty elaborate and fun, and will hopefully lead to even bigger revelations about Tomorrowland at D23.
It’s unclear who from Tomorrowland will be at D23 this year, but hopefully director Brad Bird and screenwriter Damon Lindelof will be in attendance. Recently, Tomorrowland cast actor Britt Robertson (Under the Dome) in the role of Casey Newton, the film’s heroine. She will play opposite George Clooney, who plays Frank Walker, a grizzled inventor, while Hugh Laurie will play the film’s antagonist, David Nix.
There is not much else known about Tomorrowland‘s narrative, but it’s a family film that will feature an inventor, an alternate dimension, and actor Raffey Cassidy as a young robot. Here’s a brief synopsis: “A teenage girl, a genius middle-aged man (who was kicked out of Tomorrowland), and a pre-pubescent girl robot attempt to get to and unravel what happened to Tomorrowland, which exists in an alternative dimension, in order to save Earth.”
Bird and Lindelof have been very secretive when it comes to Tomorrowland. Hopefully, we’ll know more about the project at D23. Considering that Tomorrowland is still in pre-production and casting, it’s unlikely that Bird or Lindelof will have any footage or a trailer ready for D23. Maybe they’ll screen some footage of Walt Disney talking about the Tomorrowland theme park from the 1950s.
Tomorrowland will hit theaters everywhere on December 19, 2014.