When Jon Favreau first announced that he wouldn’t be returning to direct Iron Man 3, he noted that he’d be devoting his time instead to developing his directorial feature Magic Kingdom. Not much was known about the film other than the fact that it centers on a family inside “the Disneyland theme park in which attractions and characters come to life.” That was late 2010 when Favreau became attached, and aside from an update last summer revealing that Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Chabon was coming aboard to work on the script, news on the Magic Kingdom front has been very, very quiet.
Favreau just recently entered talks to direct an adaptation of the stage musical Jersey Boys in what will likely be his next film, so many were left wondering what exactly happened to Magic Kingdom. The director has now given a reassuring update on the project, adding that he’s actually getting a bit of help from the folks at Pixar. Hit the jump for much more, including story details.
Earlier this week I literally dreamed about The Dark Knight Rises. Not that I was in the movie. Not that I was Batman. Just that I was in the theater watching it for the first time. And I woke up with a sense of joy that followed me around for hours. Even now I can’t decide exactly what this says about me or whether it’s a good or bad thing that I’m so excited for a single moviegoing experience. Part of me is a little disappointed in my subconscious for dreaming on such a micro level. Another part is encouraged that it finds such joy in the “little things”. Regardless, those precious two hours and forty-five minutes or so on midnight of July 20th can’t get here soon enough.
All personal issues aside, this week’s iteration of the Top 5 includes the new trailer for Paul Thomas Anderson‘s The Master, Brave interviews with John Lasseter, director Mark Andrews and more, Brendan’s latest Cinemath feature, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World interviews with Steve Carell, Keira Knightley and more, and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter interviews with Tim Burton and co. The search for a brief recap and link to each concludes after the jump.
With Pixar’s Brave opening this weekend, Disney recently held a press junket in Scotland where I got to interview some of the cast and filmmakers. The film centers on Princess Merida (voiced by Kelly Macdonald), a young girl who accidentally sets loose an evil curse when she wishes for the freedom to escape her restrictive life. But the big news about Brave is that it’s Pixar’s first film with a female protagonist and their first fairy tale. I imagine in won’t be their last. Brave also features the voices of Emma Thompson, Billy Connolly, Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson, Robbie Coltrane, and Julie Walters. For more on Brave, here’s all our previous coverage and four clips.
During my interview with John Lasseter we talked about the technical challenges of Brave, the challenges Pixar will overcome in the future, his favorite Studio Ghibli film, if there’s a chance Pixar and Marvel could make a movie together, and limited art prints. Hit the jump to watch.
If you’re looking for stuff to do this summer, one thing that should be on the top of your list is a trip to the newly opened Cars Land at Disney’s California Adventure. Prior to the official public opening on June 15th, Collider was invited to the grand opening celebration that was attended by many of the voice actors from Pixar’s two Cars films (including Larry the Cable Guy, Bonnie Hunt and Cheech Marin), along with Tom Staggs (Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts), Robert Iger (Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Co.) and John Lasseter (Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studio and Principal Creative Advisor for Walt Disney Imagineering), who all took the rides for a spin themselves. Hit the jump for more about what to expect from this $1.1 billion re-tooling and expansion at the Happiest Place on Earth.
Ever since Disney acquired Marvel Studios, fans have been essentially foaming at the mouth at the prospect of a possible animated Marvel film from the exceptionally talented folks at Pixar. The acquisition is still fairly recent so we really haven’t gotten much solid word on that possibility as of yet, but if anybody knew what the true chances of a Marvel/Pixar crossover were it would be John Lasseter. You may know Lasseter’s name as the director of Pixar films like Toy Story and Cars, and as one of the founding members of the animation studio he has overseen every Pixar film to date. Moreover, Lasseter serves as the Chief Creative Officer at both Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios.
Steve recently got the chance to speak with Lasseter at the press junket for Pixar’s latest creation, Brave. During the course of their interview (in Scotland, no less), Steve asked Lasseter about the chances of a Marvel/Pixar film actually happening. Hit the jump to see Lasseter’s somewhat surprisingly hopeful answer.
When Disney took the stage for their CinemaCon 2012 presentation yesterday afternoon, they didn’t mess around. Loaded with footage, movie stars, filmmakers and information, the presentation was definitely aimed at letting exhibitors around the world know that the Disney umbrella (which now includes Pixar, Marvel, Walt Disney films, and distributing DreamWorks live-action films) is loaded with a lot of big properties and they have no intention of slowing down. While some of the upcoming properties just had the stars and filmmakers talking about the movie (The Lone Ranger), others like Frankenweenie had Tim Burton on stage with Sean Bailey (President of Production at Disney) talking about why he wanted to make a stop-motion black and white movie, followed by the screening of a full scene.
In addition to what I just mentioned, Kevin Fiege from Marvel talked about Iron Man 3, Captain America 2, Thor 2, and The Avengers. Pixar’s John Lasseter talked about their next four years of movies including director Lee Unkrich‘s untitled Dia de los Muertos movie, Bob Peterson‘s The Good Dinosaur, Pete Docter‘s untitled movie, Monsters University (including world premieriing the teaser trailer) and a clip of Finding Nemo in 3D and the first 30 minutes of Brave. More after the jump.
John Lasseter—he of the illustrious, awe-inspiring career with Pixar Animation Studios—has produced some truly great films for that studio over the years, not least of which were the Toy Story films. This shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone, of course, seeing as how Pixar’s the gold-standard as far as cinematic animation goes these days, but it’s also not to say that Lasseter’s above making missteps. Prior to seeing Cars 2 (recently out on Blu-ray), I wasn’t convinced that this was a sequel worth making, as the original Cars—beloved as it is by kids and Larry The Cable Guy enthusiasts everywhere—simply wasn’t my cup of tea. So, is Cars 2 a misstep, or is it another fine addition to the Lasseter canon? Hit the jump for my review of Cars 2 on Blu-ray.
Back in August, we reported that Up and Monsters, Inc. director Pete Docter had Pixar’s strangest and possibly most ambitious movie lined-up. The film’s logline claims Docter “will take you to a place that everyone knows, but no one has ever seen: the world inside the human mind.” In an interview with Charlie Rose last night [via The Pixar Times], Pixar head John Lasseter revealed that the human mind belongs to a girl. Said Lasseter, the “new film that takes place inside of a girl’s mind and it is about her emotions as characters, and that is unlike anything you’ve ever seen.” Lasseter didn’t comment on whether the girl was a child or an adolescent. Either way, it will be the second Pixar movie featuring a female protagonist (next summer’s Brave will be the first).
I’m even more excited for Docter’s film than I was before, but it’s still a ways off. The untitled picture isn’t due out until May 14, 2014. In the interim, we’ll see the Monsters, Inc. prequel Monsters University on June 21, 2013 and an untitled film about dinosaurs from Up co-director/writer Bob Peterson on November 27, 2013.
by Jason Barr Posted: November 12th, 2011 at 12:49 pm
I’m going to bypass my usual opening paragraph musings this week and simply wish everyone a Happy Veterans Day weekend. Given that I don’t have any immediate family or friends who serve, I won’t claim to know the first thing about the sacrifices that each serviceman/woman and their respective families and friends are continually asked to make. I reap all of the benefits of their service without any of the concessions. As a result, I owe a debt of gratitude to each and every one of them.
In this week’s “Top 5″ installment you can find the first trailer for Snow White and the Huntsman, a cornucopia of interviews for Immortals and Cars 2, new set images from the set of The Expendables 2 featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme, and a look at the road that led Billy Crystal and Brian Grazer to the top of the 2012 Oscars. Hit the jump for a brief recap and link to each.
by Tommy Cook Posted: November 1st, 2011 at 10:47 am
John Lasseter has a firm handshake. You see a guy in a Hawaiian shirt and shorts and your first thought is this must be one of those free thinking who cares what the world thinks? I’m gonna wear what I want and dance to my own drum type people. But the handshake says differently. It sizes you up, puts you in your place. Tells you it belongs to a man who knows what he wants, who’s in complete and total control. This is what makes John Lasseter such a compelling figure: at once one of the leading creative minds in animation (Toy Story, A Bugs Life, Cars, Luxo Jr.), whilst at the same time the shrewdest of businessmen (Lasseter is the largest shareholder in Disney; Pixar is valued upward of 7.4 billion).
In the third of five interviews running this week (in conjunction with the release of Cars 2 on Blu-ray/DVD today), I speak ever so briefly with the big man himself – John Lasseter (I was only allotted two questions). Click through to watch as Lasseter explicates on the fish-out-of-water dynamics of the Cars series and what he finds so darn fascinating about inanimate talking objects.
Disney will forego panels and presentations at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con now that the company has established its own convention with the D23 Expo. This year’s D23 runs from August 19 – 21st and will include presentations, screenings, celebrity panels, autograph signings, and other fan-friendly activities. The major ramification for Comic-Con isn’t the loss of films from Walt Disney Studios and Pixar (although that certainly stings), but from the loss of Marvel Studios. While Marvel will certainly have a presence at Comic-Con, its panels will be reserved for D23.
The schedule for D23 has been released and on Saturday, August 20th from 11am to 12:30 pm, the presentation for Walt Disney Studios will be hosted by Disney chairman Rich Ross, President of Production Sean Bailey, Chief Creative Officer of Disney and Pixar John Lasseter, and Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige. Hit the jump for the full schedule.
Schedule D23 Expo’s official website.
Disney is still moving forward with their long-in-gestation animated film King of the Elves. Variety reports that the studio has tapped Horrible Bosses scribe Michael Markowitz to write the latest version of the screenplay. Based on a short story by Phillip K. Dick, the film tells the story of a group of elves and one dwarf living in the Mississippi Delta. After a human saves their life from an evil troll, they name him their king.
The film was initially under the guidance of Aaron Blaise and Robert Walker (Brother Bear), but when Pixar guru John Lasseter became chief creative officer of the animation department, the film was put back into development. Chris Williams (Bolt) is sheparding the project, with Lasseter producing. The plan is now to set King of the Elves for a holiday 2013 release as a companion to that summer’s Monsters University from Pixar.
Cars 2 is the rare Pixar film that feels like a mess. So many times, you wonder how they are going to balance the different aspects of their next summer hit, but by the time the credits roll you no longer question it. With Pixar’s latest, I still had trouble deciding why they would go in so many various directions all at once. The core audience is going to have a blast, there is little doubt. If you have a young boy, and you collect those little cars, you have a lot more to deal with and it will be shoved down your throat starting with this gorgeous, often funny package. But these days, I expect more from Pixar. My review after the jump.
With Cars 2 hitting theaters this weekend, Disney held a press junket in Hollywood a few days ago and I spoke with the cast and director John Lasseter. Since Adam recently interviewed Lasseter at Pixar, I made sure to ask all new questions.
During the five minute interview (which could have been thirty minutes with how many questions I’d prepared), Lasseter talked about the Easter Eggs in Cars 2, what is his favorite Pixar collectible, reveals that he voiced a character, and a lot more. Hit the jump to watch.
Cars 2 takes us on an exciting new adventure to exotic lands across the globe as star racecar Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) teams up with his best friend, tow truck Mater (voiced by Larry the Cable Guy), and heads overseas to compete against the world’s fastest cars in the first-ever World Grand Prix. But the road to the finish line is filled with unexpected potholes, detours and bombshells when Mater, in a case of mistaken identity, is ensnared in a top secret mission orchestrated by master British spy Finn McMissile (voiced by Michael Caine).
At a virtual press conference with Michael Caine via London, we talked with one of the film industry’s most esteemed actors about his starring role in Pixar’s newest full-length animated feature. Caine explained why it was a brand new experience for him, as an actor used to playing iconic spies, to return to the world of espionage cast as a car. He shared with us how much fun it was playing the coolest car in the movie, what it meant to have his voice immortalized in an animated film, and how much he enjoyed working with director John Lasseter, who joined the press conference briefly to thank him for his impressive performance. He also discussed what it was like returning to play Alfred in The Dark Knight Rises and revealed the unique back story he created for the character. Hit the jump for the interview.