I can be pretty cynical when it comes to the source material used to create movies. I’m sure if you dig into the site archives, you could find numerous instances of me snarking about how everything is a franchise, everything is based on a book or a TV show or a video game, and there are so few original ideas out there. And I stand by those statements, but this trailer for Tomorrowland has forced me to rethink part of my stance. For a long time, I felt like Pirates of the Caribbean was one of the worst instances of corporate filmmaking – a giant piece of product placement for a ride at a theme park. The first movie was good, the following three were not, and in the end the whole thing came off to me as a big billboard saying “Visit Disneyworld!” The Haunted Mansion was atrocious, and further confirmed my opinion that these movies stink. But upon some reflection, I realize that some of these instances – some rare few – actually provide a platform for new ideas.
Pirates of the Caribbean doesn’t have a plot in ride form, but it has a setting, and that’s a good enough guide for filmmakers to create stuff. Jack Sparrow was an original idea, and I think that Tomorrowland, again based on a Disney theme park, is going to be packed full of similar genre-based whimsy that feels fresh. Where am I going with this? I don’t know. In the end, I’d still prefer original movies over franchises, but I think this looks really fun. Ugh. Time to switch to decaf.
Tomorrowland comes out May 22, 2015.