Knowing the right tool for every project is the hallmark of a true professional. Disney’s marketing strategy for its several new Star Wars projects involves a hurricane of stories reassuring everyone the franchise is in good hands. In contrast, the studio’s plan for rousing interest in the movie Tomorrowland is to spoon-feed the social media stories that convince people Disney is making every effort to keep them from finding out anything about it.
Telling folks “Don’t look over here!” is a real art. In the case of Tomorrowland, things began January 23 when Pixar Animation Studios writer/director Brad Bird and screenwriter/producer David Lindelof posted photos of an old banker’s box labled “1952” on their personal Twitter accounts. There followed widespread speculation about the contents of the box – such as the coincidental report and in-depth analysis posted to Disney’s own D23 site:
From the age, type, and conditions of the items I can see, I feel that the materials in the box were gathered together for a project from the past. Perhaps as research for a science-fiction-themed film, television, or park attraction, or even a futurism project like Walt’s vision of EPCOT.
Then, a few days ago, Disney revealed that the movie — first referred to merely as 1952 — had a real title — Tomorrowland, a star – George Clooney, and a release date – December 19, 2014.
Deadline shuffled together the few scraps of info in its possession and dealt them this way:
George Clooney is starring in a story that supposedly is about a man who encounters alien life on Earth.
Filmmakers happily reeled in that rumor and tweeted a coy response:
We won’t tell you what it’s about (yet), but we will tell you what it’s NOT about. And that would be ALIENS. #Tomorrowland
Something more we do know about Tomorrowland is that the script has been written by Damon Lindelof and Brad Bird.
Lindelof’s resume includes Lost and another project set in the cryptic universe of the Aliens movies, Prometheus — he clearly knows how to build an audience by engaging them in an ever-evolving mystery, and Tomorrowland appears to be using the same playbook.