EXCLUSIVE: While Andrew Stanton‘s live-action feature directing debut John Carter led to a precedent-setting $200 million write-down for Disney earlier this summer, the filmmaker is officially out of director jail. I’ve been hearing for months that he would come aboard to direct the sequel to Disney-based Pixar‘s Finding Nemo, with the idea that Disney would give him another shot behind the camera on a live-action film.
I’m told he’s now officially come aboard the Finding Nemo sequel and has a concept the studio loves. Pixar continues to not be helpful on this, as they don’t comment on development. It’s understandable why Disney and Pixar would be excited by this. Stanton won two Oscars for his animation work on Wall-E and Finding Nemo. That original 2003’s fish tale’s $867.9 million worldwide gross makes it still Pixar’s second-highest-grossing film and the third-biggest Disney animated film release ever. And that comes before Finding Nemo is re-released in 3D in September.
As for Disney coming through with another live-action project, I’m hearing that nothing is firm but that the studio is working on it. It looks like the studio is ready to give Stanton a mulligan on John Carter. Stanton, who has played a big role in many of Pixar’s hits going back to Toy Story, has an opportunity to put a big flop behind him and he’s certainly not the first director to have trouble out of the gate, as David Fincher did with Alien 3. 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.