D23: Brad Bird, Damon Lindelof explore the secrets of ‘Tomorrowland’

Aug. 10, 2013 | 2:10 p.m.
tomorrowland d23 6 D23: Brad Bird, Damon Lindelof explore the secrets of Tomorrowland

"Tomorrowland" screenwriter Damon Lindelof, left, and director Brad Bird onstage during Walt Disney Studios' D23 expo at the Anaheim Convention Center on Aug. 10, 2013. (Todd Wawrychuk / D23 Expo)

tomorrowland d23 2 D23: Brad Bird, Damon Lindelof explore the secrets of Tomorrowland

"Tomorrowland" screenwriter Damon Lindelof, left, and director Brad Bird onstage during Walt Disney Studios' D23 expo at the Anaheim Convention Center on Aug. 10, 2013. (Todd Wawrychuk / D23 Expo)

tomorrowland d23 5 D23: Brad Bird, Damon Lindelof explore the secrets of Tomorrowland

"Tomorrowland" screenwriter Damon Lindelof, left, and director Brad Bird onstage during Walt Disney Studios' D23 expo at the Anaheim Convention Center on Aug. 10, 2013. (Todd Wawrychuk / D23 Expo)

tomorrowland d23 3 D23: Brad Bird, Damon Lindelof explore the secrets of Tomorrowland

"Tomorrowland" screenwriter Damon Lindelof, left, and director Brad Bird onstage during Walt Disney Studios' D23 expo at the Anaheim Convention Center on Aug. 10, 2013. (Todd Wawrychuk / D23 Expo)

tomorrowland d23 1 D23: Brad Bird, Damon Lindelof explore the secrets of Tomorrowland

"Tomorrowland" screenwriter Damon Lindelof, left, and director Brad Bird onstage during Walt Disney Studios' D23 expo at the Anaheim Convention Center on Aug. 10, 2013. (Todd Wawrychuk / D23 Expo)

tomorrowland d23 4 D23: Brad Bird, Damon Lindelof explore the secrets of Tomorrowland

"Tomorrowland" director Brad Bird, left, and screenwriter Damon Lindelof onstage during Walt Disney Studios' D23 expo at the Anaheim Convention Center on Aug. 10, 2013. (Todd Wawrychuk / D23 Expo)

%name D23: Brad Bird, Damon Lindelof explore the secrets of Tomorrowland

Brad Bird, photographed at the Four Seasons hotel in Los Angeles on June 22, 2007. (Spencer Weiner/Los Angeles Times)

Brad Bird and Damon Lindelof might not have had star power to promote their upcoming film “Tomorrowland” at D23 — the film’s George Clooney did not appear at the Anaheim expo Saturday morning — but they did bring the “dusty old box” that inspired the mystery adventure set for release next year.

The duo took to the D23 stage near the end of the studio’s live-action presentation Saturday, opening the box, which was supposedly found in the studio’s archives and is labeled “1952.”

Together, they reviewed certain of the contents it initially contained, before introducing a bit of evocative animation that had been found inside, but it’s still not exactly clear what the new movie, which Bird is producing and directing, in addition to co-writing with Lindelof, is actually about.

Bird noted that “the very word ‘Tomorrowland’ is evocative,” and he and Lindelof showed the audience a photograph of Walt Disney with Amelia Earhart labeled “April 1945,” which, of course, is years after the famed pilot’s disappearance. The photo is, of course, a fake, Disney’s face was pasted onto the body of Cary Grant.

Lindelof said, “It’s our jobs as storytellers to say, What if this photograph was real?”

Also in the box was a copy of Amazing Stories magazine from 1928, which contains a story titled “Armageddon 2419 A.D.” and a piece of cardboard with strategic cutouts that, when placed over the text of the tale, revealed several ominous phrases, including “I’ve seen across the gap.”

Brad Bird's mysterious box. (Twitter)

Brad Bird’s mysterious “1952″ box. (Twitter)

Bird and Lindelof donned gloves before removing a brittle blueprint for the “It’s a Small World” attraction at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York.

“They want us to pull Clooney out of the box,” Lindelof joked. “Not going to happen, guys. We have this dried up piece of parchment.”

The cast also includes Britt Robertson and Hugh Laurie. The film is set to open Dec. 19, 2014.

Unspooling at the Anaheim Convention Center, the weekend-long event kicked off Friday with programming focused around Disney’s upcoming animated ventures. Saturday’s presentation emphasized news from the live-action side of the slate, with titles including Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World” and the upcoming sequel “Muppets Most Wanted” also receiving a push. (A scene from “Muppets Most Wanted,” a musical number featuring Ricky Gervais, was screened.)

There was no news related to one of the most anticipated films that Disney will release in 2015, however.

“Star Wars: Episode VII” was mentioned at the top of Saturday’s presentation by Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn, who officially welcomed Lucasfilm to the Disney family. He called “Star Wars” a “priority” and said of the new film from director J.J. Abrams, “It’s going to be great. I really wish I could tell you more.”

– Gina McIntyre | @LATherocomplex

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Comments


3 Responses to D23: Brad Bird, Damon Lindelof explore the secrets of ‘Tomorrowland’

  1. Loren says:

    Maybe Lindelof should apologize and explain "Lost"……….

  2. Jim Warren says:

    Hey Brad….we are STILL waiting on the sequel to THE INCREDBLES.

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