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George Clooney ventures back to the future in 'Tomorrowland' trailer

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TOMORROWLAND TEASER

On Wednesday, we hit you with a first look at Disney’s Tomorrowland, and now we’re venturing even deeper into this realm of science and technology via the film’s teaser trailer.

The story from filmmaker Brad Bird follows teenager Casey Newton (Under the Dome’s Britt Robertson) on a quest to find this hidden place and uncover why it’s being kept secret in the first place. One man who knows some of the answers is an exile of Tomorrowland, a grizzled former “boy genius” played by George Clooney.

“Frank Walker is someone who knows how to get there, and it wouldn’t be a good movie if he weren’t somewhat resistant to that idea,” says screenwriter Damon Lindelof, who created the story with EW‘s own Lost chronicler and TV critic Jeff “Doc” Jensen. “Age will make you a little more cynical, a little more of a curmudgeon. Something happened to him. So how did this young idealistic kid become someone who is world-weary and borderline antagonistic about the future? He’s a very grumpy Obi-Wan Kenobi character—minus the beard.”

Among the other characters encountered on the journey:

• Judy Greer and Tim McGraw as the girl’s mother and father, and child actor Pierce Gagnon (best known for Looper) as her little brother. “They are a very loving nuclear family there in Florida at Cape Canaveral,” Lindelof says.

Kathryn Hahn and Keegan-Michael Key as the eccentric couple Ursula and Hugo Gernsbach. “The two of them are proprietors of a curio nostalgia store called Blast From the Past, and they hold key information about this pin and its origins,” Lindelof says. “The entire movie was just a Trojan horse to get a store called Blast From the Past built, so I can go buy things there.”

• Hugh Laurie as David Nix, a scientific rival to Clooney’s character. “We don’t want to say too much about him. He either is, or believes himself to be, the smartest person in a movie full of incredibly smart people. He has a complicated and fascinating past with Frank,” Lindelof says. So … he’s the villain? “If you were to ask him if he was the hero or the villain of the movie, he would smile and say, ‘The hero, of course’—and then he would kill a cat.”

Pay close attention to the chaos and rioting Casey’s character sees on TV at the beginning of the trailer. Every big scientific discovery has the potential to either save the world, or be used to destroy it.

That may be why those major pioneering discoveries are often kept secret—and could explain why not everyone is allowed to know or see Tomorrowland. “Something has happened in this place. Just the idea that it’s being kept secret is a big deal,” Lindelof says. “Determining why it’s been kept a secret, and why is Frank Walker living here instead of there, is all in the spine of our adventure.”

Tomorrowland will hover into theaters May 22, 2015.

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