Though the esteemed director flirted with the opportunity of helming Star Wars: Episode VII, Brad Bird chose to follow up Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol with a wholly new sci-fi project, Tomorrowland. Ever since Disney pushed the film from its planned 2014 release, the project has remained shrouded in mystery — until now, at least.
Thanks to Entertainment Weekly, we now have our first look at the George Clooney-led production, including some wonderful futuristic concept art courtesy of Syd Mead (which you can check out in full below).
And while we know next to nothing about the plot, it’s understood that Tomorrowland will orbit around Britt Robertson’s Casey Newtown, a young girl living near Cape Carnveral who happens across a mysterious pin-like object. That pin essentially acts as a conduit, transporting her to a time and place in the far future.
As the plot unravels, Robertson’s character encounters Frank Walker (George Clooney), a down-and-out inventor who is hiding a secret or two about the titular wonderland. And so, together the two venture out together to see how far the rabbit hole goes.
Speaking to EW, Brad Bird spoke briefly about the concept of the film, and how he hopes to instil a sense of awe when Tomorrowland hits theaters next year.
“We begin our movie asking what did [the future] used to be? What’s good about the future and what’s scary about it? And we wrestle with those things in a slightly mythical way.”
Previously titled 1952, Tomorrowland channels inspiration from a litany of sci-fi titles of yesteryear, including Steven Spielberg’s seminal Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Speaking of which, Damon Lindelof — who is penning the script alongside Bird — references Spielberg’s classic as a touchstone and talks about how he wants to recreate that unbridled sense of discovery.
“Somehow [Close Encounters of the Third Kind] was able to do what no modern movies are able to do, which is tell a story that doesn’t have a bad guy who is trying to blow up the planet, or giant robots fighting, or lots of karate—though who doesn’t love karate? It was so not plot driven.
Though we originally expected it to debut this winter, Tomorrowland will open for business when it hits cinemas and IMAX theaters on May 22nd, 2015.