George Clooney Makes Surprise Visit To Disney's Tomorrowland Panel At NYCC
We knew Disney was going to go big with their panel at this year's New York Comic Con, but we had no idea it would be 'George Clooney' big. Taking time off from his honeymoon, the actor made a surprise appearance to join a Disney panel that was laced with world premieres of footage from both Big Hero 6 and Tomorrowland, the latter of which Clooney takes up a leading role in. Before Clooney entered to the predictable screams of both men and women in the audience, Tomorrowland Producer Damon Lindelof and Director Brad Bird were on hand to introduce the world premiere of the first teaser trailer for their highly secretive 2015 release.
It's a good job they brought the teaser with them, because Lindelof, Bird and the rest of the film's cast were tight-lipped when it came to questions regarding plot details. What the teaser does reveal is a typically rich and vivid environment with plenty of fantasy elements juxtaposed with a clearly troubled Earth, which immediately tells you this isn't your average Disney movie. Hugh Laurie, who, before Clooney's entrance won the biggest cheer of the session, said that the scope of the film was enough to "boggle your mind", and that was certainly understandable from the footage on hand.
The teaser showcases the dimension-hopping, time-travelling nature of the movie, with Britt Robertson (also in attendance at the panel) playing a troubled 17 year old girl just released from what appears to be a juvenile detention center. Upon receiving her belongings back, she discovers that she has come into possession of a mysterious pin. That pin seems to possess the ability to transport whomever holds it to a totally different world/dimension/something...it's not clear.
When Clooney arrived on stage he bantered with host, Chris Hardwick, about the lack of footage provided to the audience. Another world premiere clip was played which featured a brilliant action sequence involving Robertson, Clooney and a bizarre swarm of suited robots in the classic Men in Black guise. Clooney's plays Frank Walker, a crotchety recluse who possesses more than a touch of technical know how. Robertson's character, Casey, arrives at Walker's house to try and confront him about the mysterious pin that is now in her possession. She is greeted by nothing more than multiple security cameras and the ill-tempered voice of Walker. But after tricking Walker into opening the door, Casey is able to enter the house to discover that the rundown farmhouse is, in fact, a high-tech laboratory on the inside. There, Walker is monitoring what seems to be the world's social demise with multiple cameras displaying images of riots and battles across the world.
The best sequence comes as the shadowy robotic 'suits' show up in attempt to apprehend Casey. As they gain entry into Walker's home, a highly entertaining chase scene ensues in which the super-strength robots are met with a host of whacky security devices ranging from laser cutters to strange portal devices. As Walker triggers the last of his failsafes in an attempt to protect Casey from her pursuers, the pair climb into a bathtub, which in a scene reminiscent of Wallace and Gromit, swiftly transforms into a spacecraft and blasts off into the night.
Without any real context, the teaser and clip offered little in the way of plot spoilers, but what it did offer was proof that in 2015, when Tomorrowland is released, Disney are going to have a huge hit on their hands. With the star power of Clooney and the storytelling prowess of Brad Bird and Damon Lindelof, the May 22nd release is one of the most exciting genre movie prospects in years.