Nerds, start your hate-tweets: Damon Lindelof, one of the most celebrated and reviled writers in the geek universe, suggests in an interview with Grantland where he doesn’t acknowledge or even try to explain the dozens of gaping plot holes and leaps in logic in “Star Trek Into Darkness” (which he co-wrote), that he will probably be involved in one of Disney‘s upcoming “Star Wars” projects (the crop that will begin with J.J. Abrams‘ 2015 film). In basements all across the country, angry blog posts are already being written. Lindelof also gave some more details about “Tomorrowland,” his secretive Disney project with Brad Bird, which are pretty exciting for any fan of sci-fi.
First, let’s get the “Star Wars” thing out of the way: in a lengthy profile in the Hollywood Reporter last week, he said that he would probably be involved in J.J. Abrams new “Star Wars” entry because the two have a relationship where they show (and work on, officially or otherwise) whatever the other is up to. (Abrams and Lindelof co-created “Lost” and worked on both “Star Treks” together, Abrams also hired Lindelof to rewrite the end of “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” which Abrams produced.) So whether you like it or not, fanboys, Lindelof’s gummy little fingers will be in “Star Wars,” somewhere. (Abrams’ exact quote was: “I consider both of us part of each other’s pitching cabinet; we’re both there for each other, officially or otherwise, no matter what. I know for a fact that, moving forward, I will bend his ear on this.”)
In the Grantland piece, Lindelof jokes that since Disney is committed to churning out “Star Wars”-related content, at some point he’ll probably write some of it. “I’d say over the next decade, you and I are going to get five ‘Star Wars’ films, and it won’t be ‘Episode VII,’ but I may be involved in one of them when the pressure isn’t as intense.” “The pressure,” by the way, isn’t the pressure of squealing fanatics, but rather the pressure of his upcoming HBO project “The Leftovers,” based on the novel by “Election” author Tom Perotta, which Lindelof optioned after reading Stephen King‘s review of the book in the New York Times (Lindelof is a devout King fan and at one point optioned the impossible-to-adapt “Dark Tower” books for development with Abrams.)
What’s more – Lindelof at least partially explained the connection between “Tomorrowland,” his movie with Brad Bird and George Clooney, and Tomorrowland, the area of the Disneyland and Walt Disney World theme parks where Space Mountain is located. Lindelof says he was always drawn to that section of the park: “I’ve always been fascinated by Disneyland and Disney World, and my favorite part of the park was always Tomorrowland. But there’s no story there. Like, if you go into Fantasyland, there’s just story happening all around you everywhere, whether it’s sort of a direct kind of connection to a movie that you know or a fairy tale that you know, and the same with, like, Frontierland, or when you go in the Haunted Mansion.”
Lindelof said that the goal was to create that missing background. “My son, who’s 6, when he went on Pirates of the Caribbean for the first time, Jack Sparrow is a part of that ride. He’s going to see the movies in two years, when he’s old enough, and he’s going to think that the movies were the inspiration for the ride, versus the other way around. I would love to do that for Tomorrowland, you know? I would love to give Tomorrowland a story.” Lindelof then leaked further tidbits: it’s partially based on a Neil deGrasse Tyson speech about how optimism about the future stopped once we gave up the space program, and that the movie looks at “Disney history in this kind of Dan Brown, ‘Da Vinci Code‘ way,” but that none of the movie takes place in a Disney park.
In fact, the mystery box that Brad Bird and Lindelof tweeted as being the inspiration for the “Tomorrowland” project (back when it was just known as “1952“) was actually dug up by another filmmaker for an entirely different project. The box, a remnant from WED, which was the kind of prototype for what we now know as Imagineering (Lindelof described it as “Walt’s black-ops division,”) was originally retrieved at the behest of McG, who was at the time working on a “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” remake for Disney (the one David Fincher is currently shepherding through troubled waters.) “I think he requested all the design work from the original ride in Disneyland, the Nautilus ride, and this box was in with that stuff,” Lindelof said. “You know, what was it doing there? Who knows — but what’s more exciting is there’s probably, like, 50 boxes like that waiting.”
“Tomorrowland” opens on December 19th, 2014.