5.22.2018

When we interviewed writer/producer Damon Lindelof two years ago for our Anniversary Commentary, we inquired about making the Tomorrowland shooting screenplay available for fans to read. He graciously tasked us with donating a copy to the fantastic Writers Guild Foundation Library here in Los Angeles.

Needless to say, I was delighted to finally get my hands on the script, which revealed a lot of previously unknown facts about the film's story and production. Let's jump in:

1. There were a lot of drafts. 

The cover page, on which production drafts list all alterations by page color, indicates eleven revision dates. They span from 6/24/13, before principle photography began, through 10/29/14, during the film's reshoots.

2. Frank's voiceover bookends were more extensive.
When the decision was made to bookend the film with George Clooney's Frank addressing the camera, they prepared an extensive amount of options from which to choose, finally landing on the single interjection seen in the finished film.

click to expand

Most interestingly, they attempted to use this conversational flashback structure to preserve a snippet of the History of Tomorrow: Origins of Plus Ultra animation/dark ride deleted scene.

3. Young Frank gives Athena a gift from the Fair.
As we suspected from remnants in the film, Young Frank gives Athena a small chain pin souvenir from the World's Fair:

4. The title card was originally an answer to the question, "What is this place?"
As was correctly assumed and restored in the mysterious anonymous Tomorrowland: The Dreamer's Cut fan-edit of the film, its title card originally appeared after the (linear) World's Fair prologue, as a triumphant response to Young Frank asking Athena "What is this place?", signalling the transition to modern day and Casey's introduction.

5. Casey causes her dad to be fired.
In a nice moment originally at the end of the existing scene in which Eddie drives Casey home from her stay in jail, he offers a nuanced twist on the previously introduced "two wolves" metaphor:


6. The movie actually understands how eBay works.
The Gernsbacks, however, do not. An often cited "error" in the film, Casey finds an eBay listing for the Tomorrowland pin -- that they are looking to buy, not sell. As it happens, a deleted piece of dialogue addresses this leap:

Turns out evil Audio Animatronic robots don't have an eBay subroutine.

7. Casey tells her dad a lot more in that phone call.
On the run, Casey calls home to let her dad know she's alright. Originally, she continued on to do a bit more than that, offering Eddie a glimpse of what's to come:


8. Athena was built in 1957.
A version of this exchange appeared in the Tomorrowland novelization, but it's a nice tidbit to see corroborated in its original form. While on the road, Casey assumes that Athena is from the future. The robot girl takes the opportunity to correct her:


9. Nix has a lovely singing voice.
The studio wanted more Nix, so this narratively unnecessary cutaway was written to bring him back to the audience's attention before the heroes arrive in Tomorrowland. The scene was planned and storyboarded for the period of reshoots, but was not shot.

A shame, as it would have been nice to have a reprise of "Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow," and we know Hugh Laurie's got a great set of pipes, but in context the scene falls too close to their ultimate arrival and reveals no new information:


10. The device in the Eiffel Tower gantry is called "The Thinking Machine."
The prop was on display at the El Capitan Theater, and the machine memorably dispenses fireworks as a series of numbers spin past Plus Ultra logos. (Which were digitally replaced with the more modern logo, as the prop itself featured a vintage-inspired serifed logo.) Well, it's got a name.


11. Nix insists he's not a robot. 
As previously observed in the novelization of the film, Casey can't help but ask if Nix is a robot. He answers in the negative, but you're welcome to spin your own theories for the sake of sequel headcanon:


12. Frank gets catty with Nix. 
Making literal what happened to the Tomorrowland he once loved, Frank insults Nix:



13. The event that causes the apocalypse is called "The Inevitability".
Remnants of this still exist in the film, as Athena states, "Apparently, a one ten-thousandth
variable in The Inevitability wasn’t convincing enough to change his mind." This term comes from an excised portion of an earlier scene. Nix's discussion regarding the Monitor originally went into addition depth regarding his observations:


14. They are The Flicker.
Also in the realm of recurring terms, a sweet exchange between Frank and Athena reacting to Casey's epiphany was excised, just prior to them being escorted to Bridgeway Plaza by Nix's guards:


15. "Dystopia is positively sexy!"
In our conversation with Lindelof, he revealed that Nix's final speech was penned exclusively by Brad Bird, who he likes to imagine has been performing himself at dinner parties for years. The original version includes many amusing turns of phrase, including "Drones, baby, drones!"


16. Athena's "last thoughts" make me cry. 
And their unedited version is no exception:


17. EXT. FIELD OF WHEAT - TOMORROWLAND
The final moments of the film are as beautiful to read as they are to see. They also reveal an previously unseen Haitian recruit, installing solar panels on an experimental low-cost home:

18. Damn Lindelof is an incredibly talented screenwriter.
As a fan of his work, I have had the pleasure of reading several of his screenplays. While it is impossible to separate his contributions from Bird's pass, the effect of his contribution is felt throughout. His on-the-page craft is remarkable, and it is a real treat for me to see it applied to Tomorrowland alongside the efforts of Jeff Jensen and Brad Bird.

...

While we are not permitted to host the full screenplay file, for any dreamers based in Los Angeles (or those who will be visiting), we have passed the screenplay along to the Writer's Guild Foundation Library, and were ensured that the screenplay will be made available as part of their archive, which is open to the public. (As of publication, Tomorrowland has not yet appeared in their catalog.)

3.29.2018

The Dreamer's Exploratory Pin celebrates the stargazing optimism of space exploration. Created by fans, for fans.

Measures approximately 1.25" tall by 1.60” wide.
Limited Edition of 100.

Comissioned by Plus Ultra KSC.
Created by Tomorrowland Times.

Get yours here.

UPDATE: First run sold out. Variant colorway coming soon.



2.01.2018

On Web of Stories, Legendary film editor Walter Murch has, at long last, recounted his experience of being fired from Tomorrowland, citing tensions between the studio and the filmmakers:


"There's a Chinese phrase ... 'shoot the chicken to scare the monkey' ... in this case, I was the chicken, and Brad Bird, the director, was the monkey ... in essence, saying to Brad, 'that bullet came awfully close to you, didn't it?'"

12.06.2017

When the Tomorrowland Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Album was released on May 18, 2015, it contained only 73 minutes of the original score composed by Michael Giacchino for the film. 

As frequently happens in the film music community, an anonymous source has leaked the (nearly) complete soundtrack for Michael Giacchino's original Tomorrowland score.

The full track titles were initially discovered on the ASCAP website by an observant fan on the John Williams Fan Network forums, just prior to the leaked music files appearing online as recently as last month.

Whatever vigilant insider leaked these tracks, they somewhat curiously titled their release "recording sessions", although its contents appear to more accurately reflect extractions from the editing process. While these tracks do contain most of the music featured in the film, along with some fantastic bonus mixes and alternates, there was most certainly more music recorded for the various iterations of the edit through the course of post-production. 

The soundtrack completists over at Chrono-Score have done a great job breaking down what is included across the various releases, as well as which pieces are mislabeled, remixed, and missing. The reason for a few of those mislabelings can likely be attributed to the re-recordings done for the film's reshoots, which shuffled many sequences, particularly in the first act.

Here's our (ongoing) analysis of everything included in the sessions, and how they compare to the original album release and the film itself.

UPDATE: Links removed at the request of the composer.

In researching this music, we made a surprising discovery about the film:

There are two (slightly different) versions of Tomorrowland currently in official circulation. The Theatrical and Blu-ray versions of the film use the original recording sessions version of the track "Pins of a Feather" underneath the bioluminescent tree scene, while the Digital / Streaming & DVD versions of the film use the album version. (Which features an alternate intro that is also present as a separate track on the recording sessions release.) These are entirely different compositions, each lending a different tone to the scene. To illustrate, here is our video comparison of the two versions:


Ultimately, the album version ramps more dramatically into the final suite — with a reprise of the Plus Ultra theme — while the original theatrical cut lends a more dire gravity to their predicament. Both are great pieces of music, but having two versions of the movie floating around depending on the format is ... mildly confusing. 

5.22.2017

Join Hastin and Nick as they present a feature-length audio commentary companion to Tomorrowland, including exclusive interview excerpts with Brad Bird, Damon Lindelof, Jeff Jensen, Thomas Robinson, and Raffey Cassidy!

You can listen on YouTube or download the audio track from SoundCloud:



*To sync this track with the film, press "play" when the first opening logo firework bursts.

If you would like to skip to the interview excerpts, you may do so at the following timecodes:

- 00:00:59 - Damon Lindelof on the editing process.
- 00:07:13 - Brad Bird on pin variations.
- 00:13:52 - Damon Lindelof on the first draft.
- 00:19:27 - Jeff Jensen on the first draft.
- 00:27:20 - Jeff Jensen on Casey's character.
- 00:38:50 - Damon Lindelof on length.
- 00:40:45 - Damon Lindelof on Walt Disney.
- 00:51:20 - Damon Lindelof on Drummelberg.
- 00:55:48 - Damon Lindelof on Frank's holographic dog.
- 01:01:34 - Thomas Robinson & Raffey Cassidy on flashbacks.
- 01:10:18 - Jeff Jensen on "Before Tomorrowland".
- 01:28:19 - Damon Lindelof on Nix & Plus Ultra.
- 01:41:49 - Damon Lindelof on Nix's speech.
- 01:58:05 - Brad Bird on the creative process.
- 02:01:15 - Brad Bird on the end credits design.
- 02:02:03 - Brad Bird on the future of Tomorrowland.
- 02:02:45 - Damon Lindelof on the future of Tomorrowland.
- 02:04:13 - Jeff Jensen on the future of Tomorrowland.
- 02:08:39 - Final words from Damon Lindelof.

This commentary was recorded in 2016 for the first anniversary of the film "Tomorrowland" and released for its second anniversary on May 22, 2017.