Rumour have been swirling over the past month or so, concerning the directorial future of Andrew Stanton. The two-time Oscar winner most recently directed Disney's famed mega-flop, John Carter. For one reason or another, the WALL-E director's passion project didn't find an audience and resulted in a $200 million write-down and executive shifts for the Mouse House. News broke last month though, that Stanton was returning to more familiar waters (pun intended) with a sequel to his 2003 mega-hit, Finding Nemo.
Since then, we've heard that Lindsey Collins was set to produce, Victoria Strouse had been penned to write the script, and Ellen DeGeneres was in talks to return as Dory, with a view to a 2016 release date. No word, though, had been heard from Pixar's camp, and nothing from Stanton himself, save a Tweet that seemed to deny the rumours. Until now.
Speaking to the LA Times, Stanton spoke candidly about the production of, and response to, the adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' 100 year old novel, and Nemo 2. Check it all out after the jump break:
Just as Disney didn't point fingers at Stanton for the film's failure, he didn't blame them either. In fact, the Finding Nemo director said he was surprised at how much freedom and control he was given, saying he "was left alone from Day One to the last day". He said, at the time, he had pondered:
"who's gonna give me the keys to a Ferrari if I've never driven before?. But studios are not set up like that. They're like, 'Go and drive the car and don't drive it off a bridge.'"
"The truth was everyone tried their very best to crack how to sell what we had, but the answer proved elusive."
As well as offering up his sombre thoughts on the film's response:
"The ennui you have after a huge success when it's all over is exactly the same as the ennui you have when it's a bomb. You loved the doing. You've spent every waking moment thinking about its birth, worrying about it, raising it. It's an empty nest syndrome. Whether your kid went to college or went to jail, it's an empty nest."
Fellow Pixarians John Lasseter and, Nemo co-director, Lee Unkrich also weighed in, with Unkrich saying:
"Andrew poured every little bit of his heart and soul into 'John Carter', sweating the tiniest detail. 'John Carter' was the first time he's been in a position where things didn't work out in the way he hoped and of course he had to go through it in a really public way."
The reaction to John Carter was definitely a shame. I, personally, thought it was a great film; not without it's flaws, no, but certainly a strong film, worthy of Stanton's pristine reputation. But, while this means Stanton won't be getting another stab at John Carter, he will be tackling another sequel, as he spoke briefly about Finding Nemo 2, confirming his involvement in the project!
"What was immediately on the list was writing a second 'Carter' movie," he said. When that went away, everything slid up. I know I'll be accused by more sarcastic people that it's a reaction to 'Carter' not doing well, but only in its timing, but not in its conceit."
In the meantime, the original Finding Nemo is out in 3D in US cinemas on, 14th September, and arrives on Blu Ray later this year.