Thursday, 29 November 2012

Teddy Newton Directing a Pixar Feature Film!

Pixarian Teddy Newton, who garnered particular attention in 2010, with his innovative Oscar nominated short film Day & Night which preceded Toy Story 3 (in which he voiced Chatter Telephone), is now developing a Pixar feature film!

Newton is developing the film with up-and-coming screenwriter Derek Connolly, says Variety. Connolly's lone film credit is writing recent critical-hit, Safety Not Guaranteed - a film that's had a lot of mainstream coverage in the past few weeks, while speculation has been rife that the film's director, Colin Trevorrow, was in the running to direct Star Wars: Episode VII (although it now turns out that that rumour was entirely false). As part of a profile of the screenwriter, Variety mentions that Connolly is now working on "an untitled project for Teddy Newton", with Connolly saying:

"It's totally different, the way they do things up here. You're here everyday. You don't go away for three months and come up with a script. You're involved with a director and it's very collaborative." Also stressing that he was told "not to dumb it down or treat animation like it's for kids."

Connolly is the latest outside name to join Pixar in an important capacity in recent years. Little Miss Sunshine writer Michael Arndt wrote the screenplay for Toy Story 3, and is now working on Pete Docter's Untitled Mind Film, as well as the Phineas and Ferb movie, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Star Wars: Episode VII and just about every cool thing in the world. Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Mad Men producer Marti Noxon was also recently announced to be working with the studio.

This also appears to be continuing a trend of Pixar promoting from within; Dan Scanlon (Mater and the Ghostlight) is directing next year's Monsters University, Peter Sohn (Partly Cloudy) is co-directing Bob Peterson's The Good Dinosaur (2014), and Ronnie del Carmen (Dug's Special Mission) is co-directing Pete Docter's Mind Film (2015). It's great to see Teddy Newton get his stab at it now - hopefully we can see Enrico Casarosa in a higher capacity in the future too!

Newton arrived at the Oscar-winning Emeryville studio with Brad Bird and his Incredibles team, and has had voice roles in Toy Story Toons: Short Fry and even Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol - as well as the aforementioned role in Toy Story 3.

No indication of release date yet, but it may well turn out to be that untitled Pixar film due in November 2015. But this is very exciting news to say the least - as it always is whenever a new Pixar feature is announced - and this promises to be a fantastic pairing!

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