Pixar has announced that Dan Scanlon will be returning to the director's chair for one of their new untitled films. The Disney-owned animation studio has been hard at work on Brian Fee's Cars 3, which released last month and has been considered by audiences and critics alike to be an improvement over its predecessor. Now, the studio is focusing on their next project, Coco, an original tale directed by Lee Unkrich and co-directed by Adrian Molina inspired by Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).
In addition to bringing audiences more original stories, the famed animation studio has two major sequels in development: Brad Bird's The Incredibles 2 and Josh Cooley's Toy Story 4 (which was originally supposed to be directed by Pixar chief creative officer John Lasseter, who vacated the director's chair this weekend). Bird's highly anticipated Incredibles sequel hits theaters in 2018 and has been revealed to take place immediately after the events of the first movie. Cooley's upcoming Toy Story sequel, on the other hand, releases the following year, and it's supposed to break off from the original trilogy and be a standalone sequel.
Aside from the aforementioned films, Pixar reportedly has three untitled movies in development, with the San Francisco-based studio having reserved three release dates in 2020 and 2021: March 13, 2020, June 19, 2020, and June 18, 2021. Any official details regarding those movies may not release until perhaps next year or the year after - possibly at the next D23 Expo - though we now know that one of those movies will be by Monsters University director Don Scanlon. Pixar announced during their panel at D23 Expo 2017 this afternoon that Scanlon is currently working an untitled film set in a "suburban fantasy world."
— Disney•Pixar (@DisneyPixar) July 14, 2017
As Scanlon revealed during the presentation, the film doesn't include any humans, only elves, trolls, and sprites (he also compared the pervasiveness of unicorns to rodents in our world). Scanlon said of the film:
“In the film, we’re going to tell the story of two teenage elf brothers whose father died when they were too young to remember him. But thanks to the little magic still left in the world, the boys embark on a quest that will allow them a chance to spend one last magical day with their father.”
Pixar has created some of the most visceral and emotive stories people have ever seen, and their Monsters movies are among them. Scanlon's prequel film, Monsters University, released four years ago, and it became an astounding success for the studio, garnering critical acclaim and grossing over $744 million worldwide, far surpassing that of Pete Docter's original 2001 film, Monsters, Inc., which still grossed a whopping $577 million, unadjusted for ticket price inflation.
Now that he's proved himself worthy of taking on major animated productions as director, this is his time to flex his creative muscles with the original tale he came up with. Whether or not that new movie can live up to the rest of Pixar's original stories, such as Up, Inside Out, and WALL-E is yet to be determined. Although there's a chance we could get some more information on Scanlon's movie at San Diego Comic-Con next week, it's highly doubtful considering that Pixar just made the announcement at D23 Expo this weekend.
- Coco (2017) release date: Nov 22, 2017
- Incredibles 2 (2018) release date: Jun 15, 2018
- Toy Story 4 (2019) release date: Jun 21, 2019