Willem Dafoe Back for ‘Finding Dory’; Says the Film Will Be Better Than ‘Finding Nemo’

Published 2 years ago by

finding dory gill willem dafoe Willem Dafoe Back for Finding Dory; Says the Film Will Be Better Than Finding Nemo

Finding Dory, the sequel to Pixar’s beloved Finding Nemo, will release in theaters 13 years after the original film, yet the story picks up but a year after Dory (voice of Ellen DeGeneres) and Marlin (Albert Brooks) braved reformed sharks, fields of sea mines, jellyfish, seagulls and so many other obstacles on their journey across the ocean to find and rescue Marlin’s son, Nemo. As such, things shouldn’t be so different in the Nemo universe when the second installment gets underway (unlike, say, how much had changed in the Toy Story world between the second and third movies).

Up to now, the only Finding Nemo supporting player to have been confirmed for the sequel was Vicki Lewis, again voicing Deb and her “sister” Flo (who has an odd habit of vanishing whenever there’s no mirror around). However, Willem Dafoe has now revealed that he’ll be back as Gill, the heavily-scarred Moorish Idol fish and leader of the Tank Gang who, along with his companions, managed to escape from dentist Philip Sherman’s office when the first movie ended (…well, sort of).

Dafoe told Total Film that he has already started to work on Finding Dory even though the sequel is three years off. Moreover, he had some encouraging things to say about the film (even while admitting that he’s not exactly an unbiased party):

“Yeah I’ve already started. It’s even better than the first. It’s fantastic. It’s good to say I think it’s going to be better than the first; that’s good advertising! It’s difficult to repeat a success and so many years afterwards, but it’s really cool. I’ve done one session so far and I just am going to have such a good time.”

So far, the new vocal additions in Finding Dory include Eugene Levy (American Reunion), Diane Keaton (The Big Wedding) and Ty Burrell (Muppets Most Wanted), as characters from Dory’s past who are reunited with the forgetful Blue Tang fish in the sequel. Meanwhile,  director Andrew Stanton will shake-off the tough reception for John Carter by returning to the animation medium where he made his mark, drawing from a script written by Victoria Strouse (October Road).

finding nemo 2 plot Willem Dafoe Back for Finding Dory; Says the Film Will Be Better Than Finding Nemo

Dory certainly ranks high on the list of beloved Pixar movie supporting characters, so it will be all the more interesting to see how well the character holds up when serving as protagonist of the Finding Nemo sequel. On the one hand, the decision to move a sidekick into the spotlight didn’t work so well on the last Pixar sequel, Cars 2. On the other hand, one of the main points of the storyline for Finding Dory is to show a new side of the eponymous character (by exploring her past) – something that the Cars sequel had little interest in doing with the Mater character from the first movie.

Plus, seeing how Lewis and Dafoe are coming back (with other members of the Tank Gang likely to follow) along with Brooks as Marlin, it sounds as though Finding Dory might employ a narrative formula similar to that used for Toy Story 2, i.e. where there will be multiple characters (old and new) playing key supporting roles while the protagonist (i.e. Dory) undergoes a crisis that is partly emotional, partly due to exterior forces - and a film like that could prove to be a worthy followup to the first movie (perhaps even better, as Dafoe said).

Are you glad to hear that Gill is returning in Finding Dory? Does this Pixar sequel sound like it could be a winner?


Finding Dory is now slated to open in theaters on June 17th, 2016.

Source: Total Film

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  1. I find it hard to believe. Mainly because andrew stanton was forced into doing this film because john carter lost disney so much money.

  2. That’s a tall claim for somebody to make.

    • It really is. Finding Nemo was a masterpiece. I highly doubt the sequel will be able to top it.

  3. I don’t expect the sequel to top Finding Nemo in any way. I’m just expecting it to be good, which is all I ask for to be honest. If it ends up being better, awesome! If it ends up being worse but still able to stand on its own, I’ll still be happy.

  4. There is absolutely no way that the sequel will top the first one. Like the other comments on here state. I find it VERY hard to believe.

    But, I’m glad that Dafoe is back, that’s a promising sign.

    Also, I believe it when the comment above stated that Andrew only did it because of John Carter’s box office disappointment, but I actually liked John Carter. (didn’t see it in theaters, though.)

  5. 10 Years ago, I would have believed it, but the sequelitis around Pixar/Disney is diminishing the brand.

    Its doubtful it will ever recover to the status they once enjoyed. Their talent is diluted, and other studios’ outputs are improving dramatically.

    • Even their original projects now usually go through at least one director change plus an overhaul. For example, Brenda Chapman with brave or Bob Peterson with Good Dinosayr.

    • Why cant they keep doing new original ideas? Thats what got them notoriety in the first place. Sure it was the technical prowess of their animation or whatever, but their movies had great characters and original stories. If they keep doing sequels they’ll just keep revisiting old ideas.

      • Unless you’re talking Incredibles 2 IF AND ONLY IF Brad Bird is involved. Thats the only sequel any of us wanted anyway.

        Perhaps I am wrong…

        • I am with this guy on that one.

  6. Im excited about this movie. Doubt it will be as good as the first, but I think it will still be great. Finding Nemo inspired me to start doing art so its got a special place in my heart.

  7. I feel like a lot of people said Toy Story 2 couldn’t top Toy Story 1. Then it did. I also feel like a lot of people said Toy Story 3 couldn’t top its predecessors. Then it did.

    So I think there’s a chance Dory could surpass Nemo. I’ll be surprised if it does, but it’s definitely possible. I will definitely wait until Dory is out before passing judgment either way.

  8. Well that’s shocker! Off course it is, what did you expect him to say? Hey we all needed a cash grab and this sequel is not even close but please bring all your kids anyway…

  9. Dafoe in “Finding Dorky” looks better as a fish than in real life!

  10. I’m looking forward to this. I’ve been waiting 13 years to find out how the Tank Gang got out of those plastic bags.

  11. How the hell is Flo coming back?

  12. it could be possible it could tie with the fist movie but I doubt it will top the first one. I am a huge fan of Andrew Stanton and I was shocked when he said he didn’t even want to make this movie. that got me thinking if they don’t want to make this movie will they try there best on it?