Tomorrowland roads

Hollywood has a woman problem, both behind the scenes and in front of the camera. There isn’t enough female filmmakers making big movies, and there aren’t enough big-budget films centering on — or even featuring — complex female characters. This is something discussed many times in recent years here and on other sites. Over the last decade we’ve seen the Bechdel test, a simple routine which calls attention to drastic gender inequality in our big screen stories, blow up in popular culture.

The old Hollywood way of thinking has always been that female driven stories doesn’t usually equate to huge box office successes unless they involve princess fairytales or epic love stories. In recent years we have seen a growing desire for female driven stories on the big screen, from young adult adaptations like Twilight or The Hunger Games to 2013’s Oscar-winning success Gravity, or even breakout b-action films like Lucy.

But the tables are turning and we’re starting to see Hollywood bet big on female-driven stories. This summer alone is filled with blockbuster films with strong female characters in the central role. I thought now that we are almost half way into June we should look back and forward and take an assessment of the new era we may have approached.

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Brad Bird‘s Tomorrowland was always a gamble. Sometimes gambles pay off big, other times they don’t. Now it seems, despite the combination of an Oscar-winning director, a proven box-office star and a high-concept, Disney-approved idea, Tomorrowland will end up losing Disney somewhere around $140 million. Read more about the Tomorrowland box office below. Read More »

/Filmcast Ep. 319 – Tomorrowland


David, Devindra, and Jeff continue their coverage of SIFF, discuss one of Steven Soderbergh’s underappreciated thrillers, and wonder how some great films get lost in the ether. Also, in this week’s After Dark, the guys discuss how difficult it is to come up with a lasting, meaningful name for something. Be sure to read about The Fermi Paradox. You can buy tickets to the World Premiere of The Primary Instinct here.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Also, like us on Facebook!
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pixar tomorrowland sequence

The backstory for Brad Bird‘s film Tomorrowland contains a lot of detail about the beneficent cabal known as Plus Ultra, a secretive group of dreamers which conceived and built a futuristic creative paradise. In the actual film, however, we don’t see too much about Plus Ultra. Scenes were trimmed for length and pacing, and much of that story was left out of the film, along with all mentions of Disney.

Pixar actually animated a short scene that was meant to quickly define and explain Plus Ultra. Bird, however, decided the bit killed the pace of the film, and he cut it. That clip is online and you can watch the Pixar Tomorrowland sequence below. Read More »

Best Stories of the Week

It’s that time of the week again. We’re certainly looking forward to a nice holiday weekend, and if you were too busy to stay on top of all the news this week, we’ve got a round-up of all the stories you need to catch up on.

Below you’ll find a round-up of trailers for summer movies like Pixels, sequels like The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials, and the likely awards contender Steve Jobs. We also have updates on Star Trek 3, a controversial point of view on geek culture from Simon Pegg, more Mad Max: Fury Road goodies and some Tomorrowland exploration as well. So without further adieu, let’s check out the best stories of the week. Read More »

Jeff Jensen Tomorrowland Interview

I talk with Jeff Jensen about how he went from a television writer at Entertainment Weekly to collaborating with Damon Lindelof and Brad Bird on the story for Tomorrowland.  I must admit, I planned to go in and talk to Jensen about how the 1952 box was fabricated and how the script influenced the box and how the box influenced the script, but I found myself kind of blindsided with Jensen’s reaction. Jeff continued to pretend that the 1952 box wasn’t a creation of the team behind the film, which threw most of my prepared questions out the window. We still discuss how the box was used to sell executives and early Disney fans on the ideas behind the backstory of the movie.

I talk to Jeff about the early development of the film which saw two dueling ideas, one being a more Harry Potter approach and another more inspired by Close Encounters of the Third Kind. We also talk about the amazing Plus Ultra backstory which didn’t fully make it into the film but can be discovered through the tie-in prequel novel Before Tomorrowland he also wrote. Read all this and more in my Jeff Jensen Tomorrowland interview, after the jump.

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damon lindelof star wars

By now you’ve heard it a million times. After J.J. Abrams passed on the film a first time, Brad Bird was given the opportunity to direct Star Wars Episode VII. Bird, however, had to choose between Star Wars and Tomorrowland, a film he was also passionate about which was already in pre-production, and had a star attached. Obviously, Bird chose Tomorrowland, Abrams reconsidered and both are very happy with those decisions. However, fellow Star Wars fan and Tomorrowland co-writer Damon Lindelof recently said he was sure Bird was going to leave their project. In fact, he told Bird to do so and Bird happily surprised him.

Below, read what Lindelof thought about Bird’s choice, if Lindelof would do a Star Wars movie, and Bird’s quote when he’s reminded there’s an opening for a Star Wars Anthology film.  Read More »

Theme Park Movies and Scenes

This weekend, director Brad Bird takes into a whole new world with the Disney sci-fi adventure Tomorrowland. The film starring Britt Robertson and George Clooney is influenced and inspired by the real-life Disney theme park attraction of the same name (even if references to Walt Disney were cut out of the movie). Therefore, this seems like the perfect time to take a look back at some of our favorite theme park movies and scenes from the big screen.

Below we have a countdown of the Top 15 Favorite Theme Park Movies & Scenes. Frankly, there aren’t an overwhelming number of theme park-based movies before you start getting into bad movie territory (such as Beverly Hills Cop III or Final Destination 3). That’s why we’ve included some great scenes from films that might not be entirely set at a theme park. We’ve also expanded the concept to include carnivals, fairs and water parks, because it just makes sense. Check out the list after the jump! Read More »

Brad Bird Tomorrowland walt disney

The Japanese trailer for Brad Bird‘s Tomorrowland had a very explicit reference to the Walt Disney theme park the film is named after. While investigating a mysterious pin, Casey (Britt Robertson) ends up at a geek store called Blast from the Past. There, the clerks played by Keegan-Michael Key and Kathryn Hahn explain the link between the Disney theme park and the real life Tomorrowland of the movie. But when the film hits theaters on May 22, that exchange won’t be there. In fact, the name “Disney” isn’t mentioned in the film once. While we see some of his creations, the character and theme parks are pretty much a non-entity.

In a new interview, Tomorrowland producer and co-writer Damon Lindelof explained why the above scene was cut along with other references to the visionary filmmaker. Read about the Tomorrowland Walt Disney references below. Read More »