Clooney finds optimism at heart of a promising 'Tomorrowland'

Tue May 19, 2015 4:19pm EDT
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - In a break from the sea of dystopian offerings aimed at young adult audiences, the world of tomorrow is given a glossy, Disney makeover in the studio's latest big budget spectacular.

"Tomorrowland," out in U.S. theaters on Friday, sees Walt Disney's early visions of a scientific utopia come alive on screen; a vibrant creative paradise in a parallel realm, epitomizing mankind's true potential.

But Tomorrowland is mysteriously lost, and the task to recover and revitalize it falls on Casey Newton (Britt Robertson), a feisty teenage girl with an aptitude for science.

Her belief in the futuristic land leads her on a journey to Frank Walker (George Clooney), a former boy genius once enticed by the promise of Tomorrowland but now exiled and bitter.

"I loved how optimistic it was," Clooney said in an interview. "I loved the idea that it looked at the world saying 'the future is not what you see when you turn on the television and you get depressed and you're inundated with it.' It doesn't have to end that way."

Not that the movie doesn't touch on the real world cynicism that many may feel when presented with an upbeat, Disney-fied view of a perfect world that can be achieved through the power of belief and imagination.

"You have to acknowledge the elephant in the room," said director and co-writer Brad Bird, who called the film's cynical moments "an unbilled character," specifically harnessed through Clooney's character.

Made for an estimated $190 million, according to, the Walt Disney Co family film is inspired by the futuristic Tomorrowland attraction at Disney theme parks, celebrating scientific achievements.   Continued...

(L-R) Cast members George Clooney, Raffey Cassidy, Britt Robertson and director Brad Bird pose at the City Of Arts and Sciences before the premiere of the movie "Tomorrowland" in Valencia, Spain, May 19, 2015. REUTERS/Heino Kalis