Brad Bird and Damon Lindelof, with Jeff Jensen, are cooking up a big secret with Tomorrowland, a Disney-backed film that seems to have roots in parts of Disney’s past.

Though the precise nature of the story has been kept from the public, George Clooney is known to be the lead. Now Hugh Laurie is joining the cast as the villain.

What exactly will Laurie do to menace Clooney? The film was originally positioned as having some similarity to Close Encounters of the Third Kind; between that and the film’s first working title, 1952, speculation ran rampant that aliens will be featured. Damon Lindelof scuttled that idea, or tried to, but the latest theory is that UFOs play a big part in the story.

THR reports the casting, and says that the only known detail of his character is that he “serves as the movie’s antagonist.” Could be be a government man?

The banker’s box marked ’1952′ that supposedly contains inspiration for and clues to the movie’s story has been analyzed top to bottom in the past couple weeks. Jim Hill, a major Disney historian, theorizes that the plot of Tomorrowland has to do with the fabled Air Force UFO investigation Project Blue Book, and that Disney was approached to craft propaganda that would eventually reveal the existence of UFOs to the American public.

Hill uses many small facts and mentions in various interviews to assemble the theory, and it all revolves around a set of three  ’Tomorrowland’ themed Disneyland episodes from the mid-50s. You can watch the first of those below. The idea is that the fourth episode would have revealed UFOs to the public; that episode was never produced, supposedly because the Air Force decided to keep the info classified.

And so, while aliens might not factor into the film directly — meaning Lindelof’s tweet linked above is technically correct — the existence of UFOs and the push and pull between Disney and the Air Force with respect to revealing that fact could turn into quite a good basis for a film.

Here, in four parts, is the first ‘Tomorrowland’ episode:

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