John Lasseter Co-Directing ‘Cars 2′

Published 5 years ago by

cars 2 John Lasseter Co Directing Cars 2

John Lasseter is officially sitting shotgun – at least when it comes to the Cars 2 director’s chair.

It has been long-rumored that Lasseter, the chief creative officer for Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar, was performing double-duty managing the studios as well working directly on the Cars sequel.

According to Jim Hill, Disney announced Lasseter’s co-director status at Disney’s Holiday Showcase, a few days back – as well as reassured fans, who might be weary of Cars 2 getting bumped from 2012 to 2011 as well as uncertainty around directorial responsibilities, that the second chapter in Lightning McQueen’s story will be a worthy follow-up. Lasseter will share the director’s chair with Brad Lewis, who produced Ratatouille.

In case you’re new to the Cars films or haven’t been following Cars 2 up until now, here’s the official synopsis from Disney:

“All the world’s a racetrack as racing superstar Lightning McQueen zooms back into action, with his best friend Mater in tow, to take on the globe’s fastest and finest in this thrilling high-octane new installment of the “Cars” saga. Mater and McQueen will need their passports as they find themselves in a new world of intrigue, thrills and fast-paced comedic escapades around the globe.”

The Cars films are certainly near and dear to Lasseter (who directed Toy Story 1 & 2, A Bug’s Life, and the first Cars film). In the late 90s Pixar had been considering a ‘car’ film about an electric powered automobile but the movie was abandoned when the studio decided to make Toy Story 2. Lasseter would later return to the idea, after taking a cross-country road trip with his family – shifting the focus from an electric car t0 a race car, as well as establishing Route 66 as the primary setting.

Lightning McQueen Cars 2 John Lasseter Co Directing Cars 2

Lasseter found similar inspiration with regard to Cars 2, developing the story following an international promotional tour for Cars.

“I kept looking out thinking, ‘What would Mater do in this situation, you know?’ I could imagine him driving around on the wrong side of the road in the UK, going around in big, giant traveling circles in Paris, on the autobahn in Germany, dealing with the motor scooters in Italy, trying to figure out road signs in Japan.”

Due to the phenomenal track-record at Pixar, it’s easy to get nervous when we hear this many rumors, as well as this much speculation, about what’s going on behind the closed doors of an upcoming project. However, the team at Pixar, not to mention Lasseter himself, are extreme perfectionists. Fortunately, they’ve also created an environment where the team helps the artists, directors, producers, voice-actors and everyone else keep honing their craft until the product is at it’s absolute best.

Cars 2 Mater John Lasseter Co Directing Cars 2

It’s not the first time that a Pixar film has needed a bit of shaping, both Toy Story 2 and Ratatouille were dramatically restructured in a relatively short period of time. Not to mention, we don’t even know that Brad Lewis was struggling in the director’s chair. It could just be that, given Lasseter’s connection to the Cars franchise, the man just wanted a chance to have a more direct impact on the final film.

Considering the quality of Pixar’s most recent sequel, Toy Story 3, I’m going to go ahead and trust them.

Are you glad to hear Lasseter is returning to the director’s chair for Cars 2? Is the international tour story enough to bring you back for another lap with Lightning McQueen?

Cars 2 power-slides into theaters on June 24, 2011.

Source: Jim Hill

TAGS: Cars 2
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  1. i’m not against sequals from Pixar, so far they have yet to make a bad movie. but if you are doing sequals, please give us “Incredibles 2″

    • Agreed!!!

  2. Pixar has never made a bad movie. I’ve always enjoyed every Pixar movie that has been released, and I’m sure this one will be no different.

  3. Lol!! I havent seen the whole first movie(just parts of it) and yes i want an incredible sequel too……and a bugs life sequel as well!!!!

  4. I will see it, but not excited about this one getting a sequel. Just wasn’t as great as the others, probably the worst of the pixar films, which doesn’t actually say a lot.

  5. I liked cars but I agree with others on this page, pleaseeee give us the incredibles 2

  6. Man, them peoples at Pixar are phenomenal. So far they have yet to let me down. I am definitely up for a Cars 2 film and a squeal to The Incredibles if or whenever they choose to do so.

  7. Pixar definitely knows how to make great sequels:)

  8. “I could imagine him driving around on the wrong side of the road”

    Does anyone believe that this is how Pixar works, how John Lasseter works? Imagine a vaguely amusing ten second montage and then, just, y’know, extrapolate it out to 90 minutes? I *really* hope not; I’ve got kids, and they’re going to make me watch this thing a dozen times. If this is “the inspiration” for the movie then it sounds like Pixar are going to owe me 17 hours and 56 minutes of my life back.

  9. Longshanks,

    PIXAR has stated that they will make a film if they have a good story. They don’t make movies just to please us fans. Besides, Cars is not a lesser liked PIXAR film by any means. There is a reason why it has sold the most merchandise of any PIXAR film.

  10. I remember thinking I would hate Cars but I loved it. Monsters Inc 2 is way higher up on my must see list though.

  11. This is a very interesting blogpost