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Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow


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Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow (Movies)
Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow (Movies)
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (Movies)
Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow (Movies)
Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow (Movies)
Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow (Movies)
Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow (Movies)
Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow (Movies)
Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow (Movies)
Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow (Movies)
Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow (Movies)
Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow (Movies)
Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow (Movies)
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Information about Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow is a 2004 (15 years ago) American pulp adventure, science fiction movie written and directed by Kerry Conran in his directorial debut. The movie is set in an alternative 1939 (80 years ago) and follows the adventures of Polly Perkins (Gwyneth Paltrow (6 walls)), a newspaper reporter for The Chronicle, and H. Joseph "Joe" Sullivan (Jude Law (4 walls)), known as "Sky Captain", as they try to track down and stop the mysterious "Dr. Totenkopf".

Conran spent four years making a Black and White (4 walls) teaser trailer with a bluescreen set up in his living room and using a Macintosh IIci personal computer. He was able to get producer Jon Avnet to see it, who was so impressed that he spent two years working with the aspiring filmmaker on his screenplay. None of the major studios were interested in financing such an unusual movie with a first-time director. Avnet convinced Aurelio De Laurentiis to finance Sky Captain without a distribution deal.

Almost 100 digital artists, modelers, animators and compositors created the multi-layered 2D and 3D backgrounds for the live-action footage while the entire movie was sketched out via hand-drawn storyboards and then re-created as computer-generated 3D animatics. Ten months before Conran made the movie with his actors, he shot it entirely with stand-ins in Los Angeles and then created the whole movie in animatics so that the actors had an idea of what the movie would look like and where to move on the soundstage.

Sky Captain grossed USD $37.7 million in North America, below its estimated $70 million budget. However, it was marked #1 at the box office and managed to gross $20.1 million in the rest of the world, making its final worldwide tally $57.9 million. Critical reviews were largely positive and it is notable as being one of the first major movies (along with Sin City, Able Edwards, Casshern and Immortal) to be shot entirely on a "digital backlot", blending live actors with computer generated surroundings.


The movie opens with the arrival of the zeppelin Hindenburg III in New York City, mooring at the Empire State Building. Before he vanishes, a frightened scientist named Dr. Jorge Vargas (Julian Curry) makes arrangements for a package containing two vials to be delivered to a Dr. Walter Jennings (Trevor Baxter).

Polly Perkins (Gwyneth Paltrow (6 walls)), a newspaper reporter for The Chronicle, is looking into the mysterious disappearances of Vargas and five other renowned scientists. She receives a cryptic message, telling her to go to the Radio City Music Hall movie theater that night. She ignores the warning of her editor, Mr. Paley (Michael Gambon), not to go, and meets Dr. Jennings during a showing of The Wizard of Oz. He tells her that Dr. Totenkopf (German: literally "dead man's head" or "skull") is coming for him.

Suddenly, air raid sirens go off, heralding the arrival of numerous towering robots that prove all but unstoppable. In desperation, the police call for H. Joseph "Joe" Sullivan (Jude Law (4 walls)), who is known as "Sky Captain" and commands a private air force, the Flying Legion. While Polly photographs the action from the street, Sullivan knocks out one of the robots and the rest leave. News reports show similar attacks taking place around the globe.

The wreckage of the robot is taken back to the Legion's air base so that an expert, Dexter "Dex" Dearborn (Giovanni Ribisi), can examine it. Polly follows, hoping to get information for her story. She and Joe are ex-lovers, who broke up three years earlier in China where Polly was reporting the events and Joe serving with the Flying Tigers. Since Polly has some useful information, Joe agrees to let her in on the investigation.

Her information takes them to the ransacked laboratory of Dr. Jennings, with the scientist himself near death. The killer, a mysterious woman (Bai Ling (5 walls)), escapes in spite of Joe's efforts. The mortally wounded Jennings gives Polly two vials, which he says are crucial to Dr. Totenkopf's plans. Polly withholds this information from Joe. They return to the Legion's base which comes under attack from squadrons of ornithopter drones. In the ensuing battle, Dex manages to track the origin of the robot control signal but is captured. However, he leaves behind a part of a map marking the location of Totenkopf's base.

Joe and Polly find it and head to Nepal. Venturing into the Himalayas, they discover a long abandoned mining outpost. Two of their guides turn out to be working for Totenkopf, forcing Polly to turn over the vials and then locking them both in a room full of explosives which they light. Joe and Polly escape but are knocked unconscious by the explosion in the mine. They wake up together in the mythical Shangri-La. The monks who live there tell of Totenkopf's enslavement of their people, forcing them to work in the uranium mines. Most of them were killed by the radiation, but the final survivor provides another clue to where Totenkopf is hiding.

This leads them to rendezvous with Joe's other ex-flame, Commander Francesca "Franky" Cook (Angelina Jolie (146 walls)), who commands a Royal Navy flying Aircraft Carrier (9 walls) with amphibious submarine aircraft. Franky clears the way while Joe and Polly make it through.

Joe and Polly find themselves inside the mountainous island, which contains numerous strange creatures, many of which appear to be variations of dinosaurs. They travel to the mountain at the very center of the island and penetrate a secret facility located within. There, they discover that it has been hollowed out into a large silo where robots are seen loading animals, as well as the contents of the mysterious vials onto a large "Noah's Ark" rocket.

Joe and Polly are detected and nearly killed, but Dex, piloting a floating barge, arrives in the nick of time with three of the missing scientists. Escaping together, Dex explains that Totenkopf has given up on humanity and seeks to end the world to begin a new one: the "World of Tomorrow". The group makes its way to Totenkopf's booby-trapped lair, with one of the scientists being incinerated alive by robot defense systems as he attempts to enter, while a holographic image (wallpaper) of Totenkopf (the late Lord Olivier) also appears before them and speaks to them. After Dex disables the defense systems, the group makes its way inside the lair only to discover Totenkopf's decaying body and that he has, in fact, been dead for two decades; his machines have carried on his work.

The only way to sabotage the rocket is from the inside. Polly tries to tag along, but Joe knocks her out with a punch. He then goes to sacrifice himself while the others escape. Polly recovers and follows after Joe, arriving just in time to save him from the mysterious woman who turns out to be a robot. The two then board the rocket just before it launches. Before it reaches an altitude of 100 km, Polly pushes an emergency release button that ejects all the animals in escape pods. Joe tries to disable the rocket only to be interrupted by the revived female robot. He jolts her with her own electric weapon and then uses it on the controls, disabling the rocket. They use another pod to save themselves after successfully sabotaging the rocket, causing it to explode. Joe and Polly watch the animal pods float down to earth from their escape pod.

Polly then uses the last shot on her camera to take a picture (wallpaper) of Joe. Joe is touched, but sadly tells her that the lens cap was still on the camera. Polly's look of joy turns to a little light-hearted sadness and disappointment.


  • Jude Law (4 walls) stars as H. Joseph "Joe" Sullivan a.k.a Sky Captain of the Flying Legion: He commands a private air force known as the Flying Legion, his own personal aircraft is a modified Curtiss P-40. In 2002 (17 years ago), producer Jon Avnet showed Law the teaser trailer and the actor was very impressed by what he saw. He remembers, "All I got at that early stage was that he'd used pretty advanced and unused technology to create a very retrospective look." Avnet gave him the script to read and some preliminary artwork to look at. Law: "What was clear was also that at the center was a really great cinematic relationship, which you could put into any genre and it would work. You know, the kind of bickering [relationship]. I always like to call it The African Queen meets Buck Rogers." Avnet wanted to work with Law because he knew that the actor had "worked both period, who worked both having theatrical experience, who worked on blue screen, who hadn't hit yet as a major action star." The actor had just finished filming Cold Mountain (2003, 16 years ago) and was intrigued at going from filming on real locations to working on a movie done completely on a soundstage (Sky Captain would be one of three Jude Law (4 walls) movies released by Paramount pictures (wallpaper) in 2004 (15 years ago), along with the 2004 (15 years ago) remake of Alfie and Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. It also was one of six overall Jude Law (4 walls) movies released that year.).
  • Gwyneth Paltrow (6 walls) as Polly Perkins, reporter for the New York Chronicle. Law believed so much in Conran's movie that he also became one of the producers and used his clout to get Paltrow involved. Once her name came up, Law did not remember "any other name coming up. It just seems that she was perfect. She was as enthusiastic about the script and about the visual references that were sort of put to her, and jumped on board." Paltrow said in an interview, "I thought that this is the time to do a movie like this where it's kind of breaking into new territory and it's not your basic formulaic action-adventure movie."
  • Angelina Jolie (146 walls) as Commander Francesca "Franky" Cook: She commands a Royal Navy flying aircraft carrier. Jolie had just arrived from the set of Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003, 16 years ago) and agreed to work on the movie for three days. Despite her small role, she had conducted hours of interviews with fighter pilots in order to absorb their jargon and get a feel for the role.
  • Giovanni Ribisi as Dexter “Dex” Dearborn, ace mechanic of the Flying Legion. Ribisi met with Avnet and, initially, was not sure that he wanted to do the movie but after seeing the teaser trailer, he signed on without hesitation.
  • Michael Gambon as Morris Paley, editor of the New York Chronicle
  • Omid Djalili as Kaji, former comrade-in-arm from the Flying Legion
  • Bai Ling (5 walls) as The Mysterious Woman, Totenkopf's henchwomen
  • Julian Curry as Dr. Jorge Vargas, a missing scientist
  • Trevor Baxter as Dr. Walter Jennings, a missing scientist
  • Peter Law as Dr. Aler Kessler, a missing scientist
  • Sir Laurence Olivier as Dr. Totenkopf, the mysterious scientific genius and supervillain; Olivier had been deceased for nearly 15 years at the time of filming and was depicted in the movie via computer manipulation of video and audio from when he was a young actor.
  • Khan Bonfils as Creepy


Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow had high box office expectations, opening in first place on its sep. 17, 2004 (15 years ago) release date and grossing USD $15.5 million on its opening weekend. However the movie only grossed $37.7 million in North America, below its estimated $70 million budget. It managed to gross $20.1 million in the rest of the world, making its final worldwide tally $57.9 million.

Critical reviews were largely positive. The movie currently has a 72% rating (with a 70% for their "Cream of the Crop" designation) on Rotten Tomatoes. Noted movie critic Roger Ebert was among those who strongly supported the film, giving it a 4-star review and praising it for "its heedless energy and joy, it reminded me of how I felt the first time I saw Raiders of the Lost Ark. It's like a movie that escaped from the imagination directly onto the screen, without having to pass through reality along the way". Stephen Holden of The New York Times lauded its visuals and its evocation of a bygone era but felt that "the monochromatic variations on sepia keep the actors and their adventures at a refined aesthetic distance... At times the movie is hard to see. And as the action accelerates, the wonder of its visual concept starts giving way to sci-fi clichés". In his review for the Chicago Reader, J.R. Jones wrote, "This debut feature by Kerry Conran is a triumph not only for its technical mastery but for its good taste". Entertainment Weekly gave the movie an "A-" rating, saying, "The investment is optimistic and wise; Sky Captain is a gorgeous, funny, and welcome novelty". USA Today said that the movie was "all style over substance, a clever parlor trick but a dull movie". Stephen Hunter, of the Washington Post, called it, "a $70 million novelty item".

The Canadian network Space awarded it the 2005 (14 years ago) Spacey Award for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy Film. The movie is also one of few to be awarded five stars by IGN FilmForce.


  1. The World of Tomorrow (1:07)
  2. The Zeppelin Arrives (1:53)
  3. The Robot Army (3:01)
  4. Calling Sky Captain (3:26)
  5. Back at the Base (2:49)
  6. The Flying Wings Attack (6:31)
  7. An Aquatic Escape (2:29)
  8. Flight to Nepal (4:38)
  9. Treacherous Journey (2:22)
  10. Dynamite (2:26)
  11. Three in a Bed (0:57)
  12. Finding Frankie (5:02)
  13. Manta Squadron (6:33)
  14. H-770-D (1:14)
  15. Flying Lizard (1:06)
  16. Totenkopf's Ark (5:01)
  17. Back to Earth (3:14)
  18. Over the Rainbow - Jane Monheit (3:54)


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