Earlier this week, a rumor began floating around that Bob Peterson, director of Up, would no longer be directing Pixar’s latest (and thankfully, non-sequel) feature, The Good Dinosaur. Well, it turns out the rumors are true – Peterson is off the project. Pixar’s president, Ed Catmull, offered a few words of explanation on the sudden change:
“All directors get really deep in their films. Sometimes you just need a different perspective to get the idea out. Sometimes directors … are so deeply embedded in their ideas it actually takes someone else to finish it up. I would go so far as to argue that a lot of live-action films would be better off with that same process.”
That description of Peterson as so “deep in [his] film” that “a different perspective” was needed almost makes him sound a little unhinged. Like he chased the rabbit too far down the Good Dinosaur hole and had spent the last several months locked in a supply closet, constructing a crude time machine to get a more accurate representation of what dinosaurs really looked like. But apparently Peterson still has some degree of sanity, as this move isn’t a firing – Peterson will still remain with the studio.
And until The Good Dinosaur can find itself a new director, the combined forces of John Lasseter, Lee Unkrich, Mark Andrews, and Peter Sohn will be tasked with continuing the film. Sohn was already co-director on the film, and the remaining three were responsible for all three Toy Story films and Brave. So either The Good Dinosaur will be the greatest Pixar film to date, or a colossal, jumbled mess.
The film takes place in a world where that fateful asteroid never struck the Earth and dinosaurs remained the dominant species, and will follow Arlo (Lucas Neff), an Apatosaurus who embarks on an adventure with a young human boy named Spot. John Lithgow, Frances McDormand, Neil Patrick Harris, Judy Greer, and Bill Hader will play the rest of Arlo’s dinosaur family.
The Good Dinosaur will be in theaters May 30, 2014. [Los Angeles Times]