When we last reported on Pixar’s upcoming film The Good Dinosaur, we received the news that it’s story was being completely revamped from the ground up, a possible side-effect of Bob Peterson’s removal from the the project by Pixar’s brain trust, who collectively acted as the interim director for the time being. After months of silence on the matter, the project has come back into the spotlight once again, this time with the news centering around Pixar’s new replacement for the film!
Collider has reported that Peter Sohn, originally set to be the co-director on The Good Dinosaur, has been confirmed to take over as the film’s primary director. The news stems from an update on Pixar’s Twitter account, which includes a 25-second teaser video of Peter Sohn sketching out the film’s central character Arlo in celebration of this latest development:
— Disney•Pixar (@DisneyPixar) October 20, 2014
The original premise the film revolved around a ‘what-if’ situation where the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs missed the earth and the dinosaurs went on to live happily with the human race. It’s currently unknown how much of that original premise now remains, but judging by the video, the character of Arlo still remains intact. Indeed, it could be a situation where the basic premise is the same, but the story itself has been completely reconstructed.
Like many others, Sohn has worked at Pixar for over a decade, his first job serving as a story and production artist for Finding Nemo. Outside of The Good Dinosaur, he has two other directing credits: he co-directed the English-language dub of Hayao Miyazaki’s Ponyo (with John Lassater and Brad Lewis) and he made his first primary directorial debut on the short film Partly Cloudy (which he also wrote the screenplay for). While that may not be enough to get a feel for what he’s capable of as a director (The Good Dinosaur will be his first feature film), he clearly has the talent and experience needed to hopefully make a successful jump into the director’s chair.
As of right now, the only cast members confirmed to still be on board are John Lithgow (Poppa) and Frances McDormand (Momma). Still no word yet about Lucas Neff (Arlo), Neil Patrick Harris (Cliff), Judy Greer (Ivy), or Bill Hader (Forrest). It is possible that, because the character of Arlo still remains, that Lucas Neff may still be involved.
Sa you can clearly tell, there are a lot of shifting gears behind this production (which is nothing new for Pixar). Hopefully, it’s all going towards a finished product that can serve to bring Pixar out of it’s creative stupor.
The Good Dinosaur lands in theaters November 25, 2015.