Sunday, June 21, 2015

Is a Pixar Slate Update Coming?

With Inside Out breaking a record and opening very well at the box office, is a better look at Pixar's slate in store for us?

If you think about it, other than the Good Dinosaur delay in late summer 2013 and the Toy Story 4 slating last autumn, their 2016-2018 slate hasn't changed much in the span of two years. Pixar locked four 2016-2018 dates in May 2013, and locked Thanksgiving 2015 back in October 2012.

In April 2013, it seemed like this would happen...

The Good Dinosaur - May 30, 2014
Inside Out - June 19, 2015
Finding Dory - November 25, 2015

Then in late May, Pixar locked down the four 2016-2018 dates...

TBD - June 17, 2016
TBD - June 16, 2017
TBD - November 22, 2017
TBD - June 15, 2018

In August 2013, it was announced that The Good Dinosaur went through a director change. For a while it seemed like they would still aim for the summer 2014 release date and salvage/finish the film, Cars 2-style.

September 2013. Pixar unexpectedly pushes the film back to fall of this year in order to get it right. Things went as expected, the film is nearing completion and we're getting it this autumn. Previous fall 2015 candidate Finding Dory was pushed back to - and filled - the June 2016 slot.

Then we heard nothing for a long while. The only other films we knew of that were in development were Lee Unkrich's untitled Day of the Dead film, Mark Andrews' untitled project, Teddy Newton's film, and Cars 3.

In November of last year, Disney and Pixar unexpectedly announced Toy Story 4, its crew, and its release date. The June 2017 slot was filled, leaving what will fill the fall 2017 and summer 2018 slots a mystery.

As of now, Lee Unkrich's film is still on the docket, as it has been talked about recently. Pixar President Jim Morris mentioned it in December 2014, Randy Newman talked about it a few months ago, confirming that it was going to be a musical. Still no word on a possible title or anything else, a piece of concept art was released back in January 2013, indicating that it would be out by 2016. It's now likely that it will debut sometime after summer 2017...

I haven't seen anything pertaining to Mark Andrews' film since January 2013.

Teddy Newton's film hasn't been talked about since its unveiling in fall 2012. Some people believe that Mr. Newton left Pixar, for a more recent photo of him showed him touring Paramount Animation with Lino DiSalvo and John Kahrs, who have been at Paramount Animation for a little while. It was assumed that Newton left Pixar, and left Pixar for Paramount. Maybe. There wasn't any announcement or anything. I think this project is in limbo, until I or we find out something...

Cars 3 is very much a go, for obvious reasons. The Incredibles 2 is happening, too.

Pixar has been hush-hush on originals, but not so much on sequels. Sequels, of course, are things the powers above them would love to have them announce because it gets investors and shareholders interested. Toy Story 4 is seemingly an exception, for they seemed to have this picture brewing for a good while and were finally ready, two years into its development, to announce its release date. You didn't see them do that for Cars 3 and The Incredibles 2, the former of which entered development four years ago...

Pixar doesn't want another Cars 2 situation with future sequels, they don't want to rush future sequels, considering how Monsters University was allowed to brew for a while and ended up getting pretty good critical reception. (No matter what the Internet says, 77% on RT is not too shabby!) Finding Dory was pushed back half a year, which I think speaks volumes. Toy Story 4 entered development in summer 2012, they didn't announce it until late 2014. Cars 3 went into development in 2011, they waited till spring 2014 to officially confirm that it's a thing... Despite the voice of the Sheriff spilling the beans the autumn before...

Now, as for originals... Pixar is simply doing what they did back in the mid-2000s, they slowly but surely unraveled details on their original stories. The world knew about 2010's Toy Story 3 (the Pixar one, not the almost-made Disney-only one) before they knew about 2009's Up, for example. I remember back in late 2004, we knew so little about Ratatouille, and barely a thing or rumbling on W.A.L.E., I mean WALL-E. I think we got word on that project as late as mid-2006! Two years before it opened!

So that brings me to what's going on now...

With Inside Out taking off, will Pixar tell us what's coming out on November 22, 2017? The slot after Toy Story 4? Or will they simply reveal what the next original will be? Will it be a good first look at Unkrich's film? Andrews' film? Something never hinted at in the past?

If not soon, when?

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