If there’s one thing that Pixar has been criticized for over the past few years by fans and critics alike, it’s been the studio’s sudden increase in sequels and prequels following the release of Toy Story 3 in 2010, especially since a number of them were either unwanted (Cars 2) or disappointing (Monster’s University). Now, with films like Finding Dory (a sequel), and Inside Out providing a much-needed rejuvenation for the studio though, it seems like Pixar has an interesting slate ahead of them again, with a mix of both follow up films and original projects announced so far.
However, in a recent conversation with Entertainment Weekly, Pixar’s President, Jim Morris, revealed that the studio has a very clear idea of what movies they’ll be making sequels to in the coming years, and which ones they won’t… including the underrated Ratatouille, Wall-E, Up, and Inside Out.
Here’s what Morris had to say about the studio’s slate moving forward:
“Most studios jump on doing a sequel as soon as they have a successful film, but our business model is a filmmaker model, and we don’t make a sequel unless the director of the original film has an idea that they like and are willing to go forward on. A sequel in some regards is even harder [than the original] because you’ve got this defined world which, on the one hand, is a leg up, and on the other hand has expectations that you can’t disappoint on.”
Morris brings up an interesting point here, in that Pixar is more than any other studio working today, driven by its filmmakers and their ambitions. Right now, the sequels that have been announced from the studio include Toy Story 4, The Incredibles 2, and Cars 3, with all of the other movies from Pixar announced right now, being original films and projects.
“Everything after Toy Story and The Incredibles is an original right now,” says Morris, with Incredibles 2 set to hit theatres in 2019 and Toy Story 4 set for the summer of 2018. In addition to the already announced films as well, Pixar’s two projects after The Incredibles 2 are currently unknown films dated for March and June of 2020, which according to Morris here, will be original projects from the studio that take place in“unusual but believable worlds that take us in even other directions than we’ve pursued in the past.”
After that, the studio head teased that two other, original films are in development right now, and while they don’t currently have slated release dates, they do have a “highly likely” chance of happening. So with that being said, that means that fans will have to wait another decade, at the least, for the chance of sequels to Ratatouille, Inside Out, Wall-E, or others to be made. Though that’s not the studio going for a streak of what some fans might call “cash grabs”, as much as it’s simply a result of the filmmakers’ current projects and goals.
“Pete Docter [who directed Inside Out] has an original idea for his next film. Brad Bird, being the director of Ratatouille, is working on The Incredibles and we haven’t really spoken about [a sequel to] that. And WALL-E is close to my heart since I produced it. It would be good to back and visit that world and let everybody know that the humans actually survived again after getting back to their burnt-out planet. But that was really a love story that had its beginning, middle, and end, so we’re not really planning any further stories in those worlds at this point.”
Honestly, out of all of Pixar’s movies, films like Inside Out, Wall-E, or Up might be the ones that would benefit the least from sequels, after giving audiences practically perfect standalone, closed circle stories. As of right now though, the only original movie that Pixar has announced currently is Lee Unkrich’s Coco, which was teased for the first time last year at the D23 Expo in Anaheim:
“Our plan had been to make an original every year and a sequel every other year, if the idea came forth to do it. If we add the next films after the current ones, it actually comes out to exactly that: seven sequels in a spate of 21 originals, from the time we were acquired by Disney [in 2006]. So it’s penciled out to be the same portfolio, just not in the order we thought they would be. And a lot of that has to do with when Andrew had a sequel idea, and Brad had a sequel idea…sometimes that’s just how it happens.”
Now, Pixar is no stranger to long gap sequels, so this is not to say that none of these sequels will happen. After all, it was an eleven year gap between Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3, a thirteen year gap between Finding Nemo and Dory, and will be a fifteen year gap between the first Incredibles film and its sequel, when it hits theatres in 2019. At this point though, (save for Cars 3) it seems like Pixar is making movies and sequels with more promise than they have been over the past few years, so I’m happy with what we have so far. Especially considering how long fans have been demanding a Incredibles sequel to happen.
Let it be said though, that I’m going to be banging my drum for a sequel to Ratatouille until the day I die. You hear me Brad Bird? Until the day I die.
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