Even More ‘Tomorrowland’ Footage Debuts at NYCC 2014
First things first: let's watch that first 'Tomorrowland' trailer again! The first footage from Disney's mysterious new movie debuted during New York Comic Con, as director Brad Bird, screenwriter Damon Lindelof and stars Raffey Cassidy, Britt Robertson, Hugh Laurie and George Clooney took the stage to reveal even more details. Yes, this trailer is incredible and instantly bumps this film up on our list of most-anticipated releases of 2015, but even more footage debuted at Comic Con than was revealed online.
Before we get into detailing what we saw, let's review the tidbits we learned the other day -- a young girl lands herself in a bit of trouble and discovers a mysterious pin that, upon touching it, gives her visions of golden wheat fields and an Emerald City-like sci-fi Elysium off in the distance. Now she must discover what that city is and how she can get there. 'Under the Dome' star Britt Robertson portrays this girl, Casey, a 17-year-old high school student. "She's a dreamer, and she's recruited by someone to explore Tomorrowland," said the actress during the NYCC panel, though was scared to reveal anything more.
And that's really all we know of the plot. Now, here comes the unreleased footage...
Casey is shown heading towards the remote house of Frank Walker (a still mysterious character played by George Clooney). "I want you to take me there," she says. "Take you where?" asks Frank, prompting Casey to reveal the pin she touched to see the mystical Tomorrowland. We are just as in the dark as you guys are, but Frank immediately sends out a ripple of force from the house to knock Casey back to the ground. After stepping outside to question her further about why she wants to go to Tomorrowland and to hopefully send her on her merry way, he refuses to let her inside. But she sticks around hoping he'll change his mind, even huddling on his stoop to stay dry when the rain starts to pour.
In Frank's home, we see a wall of monitors that are hooked up to security cameras all over his property. When an alarm sounds, he runs to them and spots his tractor ablaze and rolling towards his house. He quickly grabs another gadget that looks like a 'Ghostbusters' pack, but is instead a freezing device that completely halts the tractor in a block of ice. Though, he turns back to his house and sees Casey standing in the front door before closing it and locking Frank outside.
Casey begins exploring the house, revealing more rooms with more monitors that are covering world news. While the news is screening footage of natural disasters and riots in the streets, one of them reveals a timer that seems to be counting down to something. Frank is able to get back inside the house, thanks to a secret passageway leading up through the staircase, before she can examine it further. "Is that a countdown?" asks Casey, but before she can get an answer another alarm sounds, and the monitors zoom in on a man standing on Frank's lawn dressed in a black uniform and demanding Frank release Casey into his custody.
Reluctantly, Frank presses a button and his house goes into immediate lockdown with metal covers shooting down over the windows and main doorways. These mysterious authorities are still able to break inside, exhibiting incredible strength and endurance. After the characters grapple with a few of them, it's revealed that these intruders are actually robots -- robots with super-strength and explosive laser guns. Luckily for Frank and Casey, the house is filled with booby traps, like electric fields, an intense magnet, trap doors, laser fields and more. When it seems as though one of the robots is about to kill Frank, Casey beats him to a pulp with a baseball bat -- perhaps a little too well. And when it seems as though they'll meet their end for a second time, they jump into Frank's bathtub, which -- surprise! -- transforms into an escape pod. The two are seen blasting off into the sky as the house goes up in flames.
Yes, it's all a bit confusing, but we like a good mystery.
In the beginning of the panel, Brad Bird and Damon Lindelof chronicled how they discovered an archived box from Disney filled with a variety of items like schematics, the book 'Model Research: The National Advisory Committee For Aeronautics 1918-1958' by professor Alex Roland, and an August 1928 edition of Amazing Stories magazine. This box served as inspiration for their story. "Who cares where [the box] came from, let’s make a story about this."
"They described to me an attitude, a way of thinking about life – especially about the future," said Hugh Laurie on how he got involved with 'Tomorrowland.' "I did leave thinking these guys are onto something really exceptional and uplifting."
"Brad has a real vision of the film he wants to make," echoed Clooney, whose appearance was a special surprise the audience.
As for the youngest of the group, Raffey Cassidy, the actress is playing a character named Athena, whom we learned earlier in the panel is the one who places the mysterious pin in Casey's path. "She’s not a bad character. She’s a good character because she’s caring for people. But I wouldn’t say she’s really good. She’s not the most thoughtful of peoples' feelings," teased Cassidy. "And she's extremely optimistic and she knows karate."
And that's it, folks! We know it's not a whole lot to go on, especially given the footage was shown out of context, but this project has been so secretive and mysterious since the beginning. And that's how Brad Bird likes it. Security at NYCC wouldn't even let the audience take photos of the panel, though a few undoubtedly leaked out anyway.
'Tomorrowland' is set to hit theaters on May 22, 2015, and we'll certainly be unlocking more of this mystery box before then.