The film will be directed by Teddy Newton, a Pixar artist who directed the short Day and Night, and will be written by up-and-coming screenwriter Derek Connolly, who recently wrote the script for Safety Not Guaranteed. Variety broke the story in a feature titled “10 Screenwriters to Watch 2012.”
Regarding the project, Pixar told Connolly “not to dumb it down or treat animation like it’s for kids.” Connolly also explained what it’s like working at Pixar:
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.
This is another demonstration of Pixar’s strategy of wooing and investing in high-quality screenwriters to carry its next wave of films. Pixar also recently hired Mad Men and Buffy the Vampire Slayer write—Marti Noxon—joined the Emeryville team on another (or perhaps the same?) untitled project.
Pixar used to be a very exclusive studio, only hiring and promoting from within. But now it appears that Pixar is recruiting from Hollywood’s best and brightest stars to direct, write and produce its films. It makes sense: in recent years, there have been a lot of criticisms regarding the declining quality of Pixar. Whether those claims are warranted are not, it appears Pixar has got the message.
It’s unsure when the Newton and Connolly project will be release. It could possibly be the untitled Pixar film set for a November 2015 release date.
What are your thoughts of the new hires?