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Walt Disney had big plans for yet another destination before he passed away in 1966.
That's what "Tomorrowland" screenwriter Damon Lindelof ("Lost") revealed at a recent press conference for the film, which stars George Clooney and opens in theaters May 22.
"Some of the very last things that Walt Disney filmed were about this experimental prototype community of tomorrow," Lindelof said at the press conference. "He filmed this thing. He thought he was healthy. And within days, he went into the doctor and learned that he had terminal lung cancer."
What Disney had planned, Lindelof continued, was something he called the "Florida Project." While that project later became the Epcot Center at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, what Disney had wanted alongside of it was something equally fascinating.
"[Disney] was talking about the park [the future Disney World], and he said, 'Yeah, there will be an amusement park kind of like Disneyland, but the whole reason to do it, the main attraction, is this!' And he pointed to the city and said, 'It's going to be an actual place that you can try ideas and we'll take corporations and we'll collaborate with them on new ideas, and sell the ideas to the world, and try them out.'"
That idyllic-sounding city never came to fruition—although Disney World without it has been an obvious success—but Disney's ideas for that inspired the city of Tomorrowland that's featured in the film, a utopian place created by people who want a better future than what Earth currently offers.
Clooney stars as a former boy genius who returns to the mysterious city with a teenage girl (Britt Robertson) to discover its secrets.
"On [Disney's] deathbed, he was looking up at the ceiling and pointing out how the city
would be laid out," Lindelof said. "And the fact that he was, to his last moments, dreaming
about this future and making crazy ideas happen, and be real, and accelerate
the pace of that, was very moving to me. And if the movie caught even a little
bit of that, I think we will have succeeded."