Andrew Stanton in Talks to Return to Live-Action Filmmaking with ‘Chairman Spaceman’

     May 19, 2020

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Andrew Stanton was Disney-Pixar’s golden child. He co-wrote Toy Story, co-directed A Bug’s Life, and solo-directed Finding Nemo and WALL-E. Then, in 2012, he made his live action feature debut with Disney’s John Carter. It, um, was not received so well. Now, after a string of live-action TV directing (alongside Finding Dory), Deadline reports that Stanton is in talks to return to the world of live-action filmmaking.

The project is called Chairman Spaceman, a sci-fi tale based on a New Yorker short story by Thomas Pierce. Pierce himself is writing the screenplay for Stanton to potentially direct, and Simon Kinberg (who has his own live-action debut snafu with X-Men: Dark Phoenix) is producing with his production company Genre Films for Searchlight Pictures — the second of such deals made by Pierce and Kinberg after Pyros starring Reese Witherspoon. Chairman Spaceman, set in the near future, is about a corporate asshole who pulls a 180 and publicly renounces his mass wealth and decision to embark on a mission to colonize the solar system. Things go awry, and he must deal not only with his past reputation, but his present mistakes.

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Image via Disney

Since the John Carter of it all (which is actually a pretty damn interesting movie, thank you very much), Stanton has been keeping his teeth cut directing episodes of smart sci-fi and genre TV like Stranger ThingsBetter Call SaulLegion, and Tales from the Loop. All of these eclectic, grown-up pieces of work feel exactly in line with the complicated, tone-blending premise of Chairman Spaceman, Plus, we’ve seen him savagely satire American greed run amok in WALL-E, a film for damn kids. It will be a treat to see Stanton apply his considerable talents to not only a live-action film, but one for grown-ups, toned by his experience in the small-screen space.

For more on Stanton, check out our 2016 interview with the man.

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