After already conquering the US box office, this week finally sees Pixar’s long-anticipated sequel Finding Dory arrive on UK shores, and to celebrate the release Flickering Myth’s Scott J. Davis had the chance to sit down with the film’s writer-director Andrew Stanton and producer Lindsey Collins to discuss the sequel and what the future holds for Pixar.
Thirteen years is a long time to wait for a sequel but from Stanton’s point of view, it wasn’t because there wasn’t an appetite from the audience for a sequel it was more that he and Pixar never thought there was story to tell until around the time of Finding Nemo’s 3D release in 2011 when it all changed:
“Everyone takes that tactic like we were truly waiting all that time but the truth is I was never going back – I had no intention of going back to the ocean. It was a surprise to me to watch the movie again after eight years as I had stopped watching it but in 2011 I walked out the theatre going ‘Oh my gosh, Dory is completely unresolved… and I felt she needed a resolution.”
Added into the mix was consistent (but whimsical and fun) pressure from Dory herself Ellen Degeneres, who was desperate to have a sequel made as almost every other hit Pixar film was getting one. Pixar, Stanton and co were fully aware of the talk and the fun Ellen made of that, with Stanton quipping: “Every time she would say something online word would get to us…”
Pixar’s technical accomplishments over the last two decades have astounded many and have come so far that it would have been much easier to make a film like Nemo now than it was back in 2003. But with the new film came new challenges, none more so that with Hank the Octopus (or Septopus), played by Modern Family’s Ed O’Neill, which Pixar just about managed to complete. On the huge task of animated such a slippery and flexible character, Stanton said: “We barely got away with it here so we couldn’t have done it any earlier! He was a movie in and of himself!”
Now that Dory has been released to astounding box office numbers (over $780 million worldwide already without reaching many markets yet, including the UK), talk will move to Pixar’s next big film and potential sequels. But while people may think there is a grand plan for their films, they change dramatically every six months whilst in pre-production, with Collins saying:
“The issue right now is that we have tens of movies in production and awe always are assessing which ones feel that their story’s in good shape. And once that’s there we go ‘well if that story’s in good shape we’ll move that there into that slot and we’ll hold on that one.”
High on many fans’ list of upcoming projects is Toy Story 4, scheduled for release in 2018 but even that may change a few times before it eventually bows, which Collins concluding:
“I feel like I’ll say yes or no and I’m going to go back to work after this and hearing ‘That’s all changed!’ So we’re very hesitant to ever commit to that because I feel we are always changing things around based on what other story is working.”
Watch the full interview with Andrew Stanton and Lindsey Collins here…
Finding Dory is released in UK cinemas on Friday July 29th.