'Finding Nemo' Sequel Moving Forward With Director Andrew Stanton
Pixar Animation Studios has been in the habit of handing out sequels and prequels as of late. Sometimes, we get Best Picture nominees like Toy Story 3. Other times, we get Cars 2. So while the studio prepares a prequel to Monsters Inc., Disney and Pixar announce plans for a Finding Nemo 2, helmed by original Nemo director Andrew Stanton.
Deadline says Stanton’s officially "on board" the project, which will be based on "a concept the studio loves." No word yet on whether original Nemo voices Albert Brooks or Ellen DeGeneres would return (though I can’t imagine them having clown fish Marlin without Brooks’ recognizable voice).
Nemo was a huge hit for Pixar, earning $867.9M worldwide (making it the second-highest-grossing Pixar film) and nabbing Stanton an Oscar for animation. But after directing Nemo and WALL-E – both masterpieces – he moved on to live action for John Carter … which didn’t do so well at the box office.
If I’m being honest, it’s discouraging that Stanton feels he has to go back to the extremely safe route of helming a Nemo sequel. Yes, it was a very successful and rewarding film. But it doesn’t lend itself to a sequel. As people pointed out on Twitter immediately after this news broke, Pixar should expand the Incredibles universe, which ended with a tease for a second adventure. Not Nemo. So why?
Deadline speculates that Stanton’s taking the animated sequel to get back in Disney/Pixar’s good graces, with the hope of earning the chance at helming a live action film again in the future. "Plenty of others failed the first time out and lived to fight another day and Stanton will get the same opportunity from the studio that has made a fortune off his successes," the trade site writes.
It’s probably true. I just prefer when Pixar focuses on original storytelling like WALL-E, Nemo and Brave as opposed to more sequels.
In the meantime, to get yourself ready for the sequel, the original Finding Nemo is coming back to theaters on Sept. 14 in a converted 3D. Grab your tickets here, if you haven’t already.
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Sean O'ConnellFandango Bloggers
Sean is a film reviewer for The Washington Post and daily contributor to Fandango.