So, a quick recap on the current history of Pixar.
Around 2006, the deal between Pixar and Disney was coming to a close, and things between Pixar and Disney got a little heated in the re-negotiations. During those re-negotiations, Disney invoked a clause in their original deal with Pixar that granted them the sequel rights to any and all Pixar films. So, as a big "screw you" to Pixar, Disney announced the creation of a new animation studio called Circle Seven Studios, and the sole purpose of this new studio would be to make Pixar sequels. Disney quickly announced that they would be making Toy Story 3, Monsters, Inc. 2, and Finding Nemo 2 under the Circle Seven label.
The re-negotiations finally ended with Disney remembering they have more money than God and just buying Pixar. In the buyout, a lot of Pixar's senior management became senior management at Disney, and the first thing they did was pull the plug on Circle Seven Studios. However, seeing the little bit of work that Circle Seven did did get Pixar's creative juices flowing, and so Pixar decided to go ahead with Toy Story 3, which came out in 2010 and was spectacular, and Monsters, Inc. 2, a prequel now titled Monsters University, which comes out this summer.
So, I guess then, I shouldn't be too surprised when Disney and Pixar made the official announcement back on Tuesday that Finding Nemo 2 is officially in the works, to be titled Finding Dory.
Along with the announcement of the film came the announcement that Ellen DeGeneres is coming back to voice Dory. That was expected...DeGeneres (and many Hollywood watchers) have long credited her voice work in Finding Nemo to have jumpstarted her career about 10 years ago. And, when she made the announcement on her talk show on Tuesday, she said she'd been bugging Pixar pretty hard about it for the past few years.
Also coming back to direct is veteran Pixar director Andrew Stanton, who gave us the original Finding Nemo and WALL-E. Now, Stanton made his live-action debut a year ago with John Carter, which went on to become one of the biggest bombs of all time. So when rumors of Finding Nemo 2 started circulating last summer and that Stanton would be coming back to direct, Stanton initially denied the rumors. I did dig up an interview he did in the fall where he addressed the rumors. He said that he always had an idea for a Finding Nemo 2, but, since John Carter was hoped to launch a major franchise, he honestly expected he'd be neck-deep in making John Carter 2 right now. So he was readjusting his schedule and moving certain projects up on his personal timeline. Looks like Finding Dory got moved to the front of the line.
The official plot description sent out by Disney says it'll take place one year after Finding Nemo, and be set primarily along the California coastline. Marlin and the Tank Gang will be returning from the first film, and we'll also get a new slate of beloved, toyetic characters.
Finding Dory will be hitting theatres November 25, 2015.
I'm still a fan of Tim Burton's, even though I have yet to bring myself to watch Dark Shadows. That being said, though, upon re-watching Frankenweenie when it came out on DVD a few months ago, I thought that film was...well, something special. That film had real heart to it, something that a lot of Tim Burton films have been lacking lately as he pumps out the latest product for a major studio starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham-Carter. So I was intrigued earlier this week with the announcement of his next film, the biography Big Eyes.
Big Eyes tells the story of painter Margaret Keane and her ex-husband Walter Keane. Back in the 1950s and 60s, the Keanes became famous for creating those paintings of children with really big eyes. With Walter's marketing savvy, the paintings soon became a pop culture phenomenon. Margaret, being the shy, introverted type, just spent her days at home painting the paintings. But, the success started going to Walter's head, and soon he started taking credit for the paintings and going on talk shows and the like to talk about them. Margaret finally found her voice and start calling out her husband. Needless to say, it put a strain on their marriage, and the true authorship of the paintings was something that became a very crucial part of their divorce proceedings.
Burton is apparently a fan of Margaret Keane's work (she was eventually ruled the true painter), and Burton commissioned Keene to do a painting of Lisa Marie, the Guess jeans supermodel who was Burton's-girlfriend-that-he-stuck-in-every-movie back in the 1990s. Burton has been trying to get this project going for a few years, and finally got around to it.
To make the film, Burton is re-teaming with screenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski. They originally worked together on Ed Wood, and following that, Alexander and Karaszewski made a name of themselves in the 1990s, writing screenplays about offbeat individuals, including The People vs. Larry Flynt and Man on the Moon.
And to play Walter and Margaret Keene, Burton is NOT going with his obvious choices of Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham-Carter. Walter will be played by Christoph Waltz, who won two Oscars working with Quentin Tarantino on Inglorious Basterds and Django Unchained. And Margaret will be played by fellow Oscar winner Amy Adams.
No word yet on when it'll be hitting theatres.