Following the release of Coco's teaser trailer earlier this week, there has been a rejuvenated excitement for original projects across Pixar fandom. One of the most exciting aspects of reporting on Pixar news is seeing new footage of an upcoming film for the very first time. Pixar prides itself on growing wholly original film ideas in-house, without hiring outsider talent to jump start new projects. The ingenuity behind the world and characters of Coco got us thinking about the future of original films at the acclaimed studio. Follow along as we explore the future of original Pixar films (post Coco) after the break!
Upcoming Pixar Films Timeline:
Director Lee Unkrich's Coco, coming to theaters this Thanksgiving on November 22nd, 2017, represents a change of pace for Pixar's recent slate of features. Pixar's last release, Finding Dory, along with upcoming films Cars 3, The Incredibles 2, and Toy Story 4, are all sequels to Pixar properties. While this small window of roughly 4 years (2016-2019) seems to be a change of pace for the studio, it is not representative of the studio's longterm future. Even though theatergoers, fans, and critics are tempted to call Pixar a sequel-making machine, the opposite is actually true. This isn't to say that Pixar isn't making sequels, because they are. What this essentially means, however, is that this small snapshot is only a result of unique circumstance.
Finding Dory, The Incredibles 2, and Toy Story 4 are all sequels to films directed by their original films' creator: Finding Dory- Andrew Stanton, The Incredibles 2- Brad Bird, and Toy Story 4- John Lasseter. This represents the long held belief at Pixar that sequels to franchise films will only be made if the artists at the studio believe there is a new story to tell within a pre-existing world. Even Cars 3, directed by newcomer Brian Fee, potentially fits within this mold. This also means that Disney (and/or Pixar) executives aren't dictating which films should and should not be made. Side note- it is not very clear whether of not Cars 3 is truly the result of a director's creative inception or a slight suggestion from parent company Disney, knowing that Cars merchandise is one of the company's biggest and most popular cash cows.
Even though Pixar seems to be in the sequel game currently, the future of original projects is not under fire. After Toy Story 4 in 2019, there are two untitled Pixar films slated for release in 2020: March 13th and June 19th. Pixar President Jim Morris commented last year that Monsters University director Dan Scanlon and Brave director Mark Andrews are currently working on individual original projects. We have speculated in the past that these films may in fact be the two untitled 2020 projects. Morris also went on to say note that there are a total of four original films in pre-production at the studio, excluding 2017's Coco. We know that Inside Out director Pete Docter and producer Jonas Rivera are currently working on an original film. Similarly, Day & Night director Teddy Newton was reported in November of 2012 to be working on an original project at the studio.
Essentially, Pixar original projects are not dead. In fact, we may be on the brink of a new wave of wholly original projects beginning in 2020. And even with speculation removed, the Coco teaser trailer that was released this past week is the perfect example of how original projects are alive and well. Not only does Coco dive into the untouched potential of Mexican heritage and culture, the creative opportunities that the Dia de los Muertos holiday provides seem to be making their way to the silver screen, with gorgeous shots of the Land of the Dead mesmerizing protagonist Miguel, his dog Dante, and viewers alike.
With the D23 Expo 2017 coming up in June of this year, we may be hearing exclusive announcements about what these new original projects may be about, which is definitely something to look forward to. And besides, with this all said, The Incredibles 2 is coming in 1 year. ONE YEAR!
It has come to our attention that Teddy Newton has been rumored to have left Pixar to join Paramount Animation. While this is unconfirmed, Newton was noted to be taking a tour of the Paramount lot with Disney Animation veterans Lino DiSalvo and John Kahrs in a picture tweeted by DiSalvo. We are reporting this information because it would be a disservice to run false information that Newton is still working on an original project at Pixar.
Another contender who could possibly be working on a future project would be Bob Peterson. After leaving The Good Dinosaur to Peter Sohn, long-time Pixarian Bob Peterson has been rumored to be working on a new original film. And of course there is always Pixar's canceled film Newt. However, the possibility that Newt would be brought back from the dead is extremely unlikely, considering that Ed Catmull himself referred to Newt as officially "abandoned."
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