Despite the explicit reference to the 1977 Spielberg classic (including a character similar to the one played by Richard Dreyfuss), a source for Vulture also wanted to make clear that the script would not be about an alien encounter. However, this intention might be a case of semantics or even a straight lie, as the year 1952 is known for a series of UFO sightings over Washington DC.
Lindelof, who is no stranger to sci-fi, has been involved since signing a deal with Disney last year to write and produce the original feature. Bird came onboard as director in May but until now there have been no story details. The unknown source revealed not only the Close Encounters comparison but also that the film will be “set largely in the present day.”
That’s where the details about the plot of 1952, such as they are, end. However, a curious anecdote was also mentioned. When Lindelof was first developing the film last spring, he was allowed access to a box previously belonging to Walt Disney. The original label, ‘That Darn Cat!’ (referring to the 1965 Disney comedy), had been replaced by ‘1952.’ The box’s contents? A collection of documents relating to an unfinished project about alien contact.
It’s currently unclear how much that dusty banker’s box has influenced the upcoming Disney entry into the sci-fi genre but we do know that the studio is planning an elaborate marketing campaign, set to begin prior to filming, which will continually reveal clues until the film’s release.
This, combined with Lindelof’s history with intrigue (Lost, Prometheus) and Bird’s successful transition into live-action (Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol), may mean that 1952 could, increasingly, be one to watch.