New details emerge about Damon Lindelof's mystery Disney alien pic

Contributed by
Dec 17, 2012, 4:24 PM EST

For more than a year now we've been itching to get more news on the mysterious sci-fi project known only as 1952 that Damon Lindelof's got set up at Disney. Now some new details are surfacing, and they've got us more than a little intrigued.

Until now, all we really knew about the project, apart from that title, was that The Incredibles and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol director Brad Bird had signed on to direct and co-write. Of course, given that the flick's called (for now) 1952, and it's a sci-fi project, we could assume that we're dealing with some kind of retro flying saucer tale. But apparently we'd be wrong.

Despite the title, sources tell Vulture that the flick is "largely" set in the present day. As for plot, we now know that it will focus on aliens visiting Earth for the first time. The film will also reportedly follow a man in his late 40s through this alien ordeal, and if that sounds a little Spielbergian to you, that's no accident. Lindelof and Bird are aiming to re-create the magic of Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

So, if we are indeed talking about a present day film, what's with that title? Apparently that all goes back to a meeting Lindelof had with Disney's head of production, Sean Bailey, last year. Bailey gave Lindelof a peek at a box of files and documents left over from WED Enterprises, the Walt Disney development lab that later gave birth to the famed "Imagineers." The box was originally labeled That Darn Cat!, but apparently the contents had nothing to do with the 1965 feline comedy. The Darn Cat reference was crossed out, and its place was written "1952." The box apparently contained documents and other materials related to a long-abandoned Disney project (could have been a movie, could have been a Disneyland ride) covering alien contact.

So, will this end up a movie built around a kind of past-future connection between people that somehow all relates to alien visitors? Will Lindelof throw in time travel? Will Disney's box of secrets play a role in the design process? We don't know, but apparently Lindelof and Bird are planning an elaborate viral marketing campaign that will reveal clues about the film even before shooting begins, so with any luck we'll start figuring this stuff out soon.

(Via Vulture)