This year’s Disney Expo, D23, saw a plethora of info get released on upcoming Disney/Pixar releases. Among those releases was the long hinted-at Bob Peterson directed and written film, The Good Dinosaur. Peterson co-directed Up with Pete Doctor and was a huge creative force behind Andrew Stanton‘s Finding Nemo. The Good Dinosaur was to be his first feature length solo gig.
But now Blue Sky Disney is reporting that he has been removed from the film for undisclosed reasons. Here’s the meat of their report:
The producer and director of the film had been removed, but the film is not as of yet in turnaround. John Lasseter has reportedly taken Bob Peterson off the film, and is attempting to still meet the 2014 release date.
This raises many questions about The Good Dinosaur‘s production. Will co-director Peter Sohn take over for Peterson? What causes led to Peterson being fired? Will Peterson’s story be produced at all? How much of what we’ve seen will actually end up on screen? And is 2014 at this stage a reasonable window for release?
All of that is up in the air at the moment. Disney has yet to officially respond to the rumor.
The biggest question of all:
What is happening at Pixar these days?
Up until 2010, Pixar Animation Studios had a spotless track record. No other studio in Hollywood in the history of film had such a spotless record. Each of their eleven feature length pictures saw both critical and commercial success with such honed consistency, the likes of which probably will never be seen again in the industry.
That all began to change in 2011 when the studio released Cars 2. The film was widely panned by critics an fans of the studio voiced displeasure with the film. It still made a killing at the box office, and that was the point: Cars 2 was a unapologetic cash grab. The film didn’t do nearly as well as the studio would’ve liked, but it certainly wasn’t the complete failure many critics deemed it upon release.
But the problems with Pixar didn’t end with their little falling out with critics.
That same year, Brenda Chapman, a story artist at Pixar, was announced to be developing a film called The Bear and the Bow and set to be the first female director in the studio’s history. But it wasn’t long into devlopment of that film that Chapman was removed from the director’s chair and replaced with Mark Andrews, a story supervisor for The Incredibles. What followed was a huge legal battle
That film would turn into Brave and Chapman’s name was retained in the credits of the film. She would go on to win awards during this winter’s awards season, but not without her fair share of awkward moments.
I hope that Pixar can straighten this production out how they did with Brave. I’m also hoping that The Good Dinosaur turns out to be a better film than Brave did (although it was indeed a fine picture).
The Good Dinosaur is slated for May 30, 2014.