Several actors who appeared on HBO’s The Wire (Michael Kenneth Williams, Michael B. Jordan, Aiden Gillan, and so forth) have gone on to continue leading a successful career on either TV and/or film, since their days on David Simon’s critically-acclaimed HBO crime drama series. Perhaps chief among the Wire alum, as far as their current popularity goes, is Idris Elba, who it turns out is going to lend his voice to Finding Dory – Pixar Animation Studios’ upcoming sequel to its Oscar-winning 2003 box office hit Finding Nemo – alongside one of his fellow Wire school graduates. Dominic West, to be exact.
West revealed exclusively to Shortlist (tip of the hat to /Film) that he and Elba are part of the voice cast for Finding Dory. Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, and Willem Dafoe are among the actors who’re reprising their Nemo roles for Dory, though the sequel will also feature several brand-new characters. However, West didn’t offer Shortlist any hints about what new additions – be they human, fish, or some other sort of animal – he and Elba will play (see his quote below), but did voice his continued love for his Wire brethren.
“I saw Idris recently. We’re both in the sequel to Finding Nemo, so we were recording that. I’m in pretty regular contact with a lot of guys from The Wire – a lot of them are godparents to my kids, so I love them dearly.”
Elba, in more recent years, has offset his appearances in franchise tentpoles – such as Pacific Rim and Thor 1 & 2 – with roles in more small-scale dramatic offerings such as Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and the acclaimed BBC TV series Luther. He will continue to do so in the future, by making appearances in such prospective franchise titles as Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur and lending his voice to Finding Dory and Disney’s live-action The Jungle Book, while also working on projects like the African Civil War drama Beasts of No Nation.
Similarly, West recently popped up in films like (failed) sci-fi blockbuster John Carter and grisly swords/sandals adventure Centurion, while continuing to work on projects such as the lauded BBC drama series The Hour. Carter was directed by Finding Nemo and Finding Dory helmsman Andrew Stanton – who is drawing from a script by Victoria Strouse (October Road) on the Nemo sequel – so this new project will be a reunion for him and West, as well as West and Elba.
Pixar isn’t riding quite as high right now as the studio was just a few years ago (especially after the one-two punch of Up and Toy Story 3), following the release of one sequel (Cars 2) that was widely criticized for being a hollow offering – along with two films (Brave and Monsters, Inc. prequel Monsters University) that were overall well-received, but not generally regarded as having maintained the quality level of earlier Pixar films. More and more filmgoers have also expressed concern about the number of prequels and sequels that Pixar has released of late.
Despite that, Pixar remains in fine shape all in all, and its executives have assured the public that they are going to offer a more even mix of original and franchise movies in the future. Case in point: in 2015, the studio will release two promising films of its own creation – Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur – before Dory arrives in 2016. Fingers crossed, Finding Dory will be closer to Finding Nemo what Toy Story 2 is to Toy Story – and less what Cars 2 is to Cars.
Finding Dory opens in U.S. theaters on June 17th, 2016.