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'Tomorrowland:' George Clooney turns up to promote in the present

'Tomorrowland:' George Clooney turns up to promote in the present
Teaser trailer for "Tomorrowland," starring Britt Robertson and George Clooney. (Walt Disney Pictures)

George Clooney would like to invite you on a trip. But where -- and when -- is he headed?

That's the central mystery in the intriguing first trailer for "Tomorrowland," which premiered Thursday at New York Comic Con, where Clooney made a surprise appearance. Brad Bird's sci-fi movie centers on a jaded scientist, played by Clooney, and an optimistic teen named Casey (Britt Robertson) trying to uncover the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space.

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The teaser, which you can watch above, opens with Casey, a bright Florida kid who's collecting her belongings after an apparent run-in with the law. Along with the usual odds and ends she comes to possess a rather peculiar lapel pin that instantly (if momentarily) transports her to a shiny, futuristic locale.

Clooney, first heard in voiceover, stars as Frank, a former boy genius who crosses paths with Casey.

"What if there was a place, a secret place where nothing was impossible? A miraculous place where you could actually change the world?" he asks. Then, after a beat, "You wanna go?"

Clooney appeared on stage at Comic Con after filmmakers and cast were already seated, walking out with the line: "It's not lost on me that I'm spending my honeymoon at Comic Con."

He then riffed with the audience throughout the session. The movie, for instance, costars Hugh Laurie, and Clooney made sport of their common past. "Hugh and I got to get into trouble in the Bahamas," he said of one shooting location. "Two former TV doctors."

If "Tomorrowland" sounds a bit mind-boggling, bear in mind that Bird ("The Incredibles," "Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol") wrote the screenplay with "Lost" cocreator Damen Lindelof. At the event, Lindelof said "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" was an inspiration for him; both it and "Tomorrowland," he noted, fall in the realm of the "discovery movie."

Raffey Cassidy, Tim McGraw and Judy Greer also star in the film, which Walt Disney Pictures is to release on May 22, 2015.

Times staff writer Steven Zeitchik contributed to this story.

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