When developing a sequel to the animated hit and Oscar-nominated The Boss Baby, director Tom McGrath drew on his own relationship with his brother, a dynamic that came up as McGrath and producer Jeff Hermann discussed The Boss Baby: Family Business on Sunday at Deadline’s Contenders Film: Los Angeles awards-season event.
“We fought all the time, were were very competitive, but at the end of the day there was enough love to go around for the both of us,” McGrath said.
The sequel even lifts a real event from McGrath’s youth: McGrath missed his brother’s wedding because he was just beginning school at CalArts. In the film, the Boss Baby (voice of Alec Baldwin) apologizes to Tim (James Marsden) for missing his wedding.
“In a way, I was always envious of my brother because I was so focused on career and never had a family,” McGrath said. “He had a wonderful family and he was always slightly jealous of me because I got to go to Hollywood and make animated movies.”
Hermann joined the production after producing the Kung Fu Panda trilogy at DreamWorks Animation.
“The thing that’s always exciting about the prospect of a sequel is really pushing open the boundaries of that world that was established in the first film and seeing how much more can you do,” Hermann said. “Still being faithful to the core themes and relationships of that first story, but being a part of watching Tom and [co-writer] Michael [McCullers] and all the great people involved build this out.”
McGrath said he never intended to make a sequel. The ending of the first movie, which introduces a female boss baby, was not a setup.
“The little baby winked at the camera,” McGrath said. “It wasn’t to set up a sequel as much as it was to tell kids BabyCorp is real.”
Making Baby Tina (Amy Sedaris) the new Boss Baby also allowed McGrath to explore different family conflicts.
“Since the first movie was so boy centric, we had an opportunity to have not only one strong female voice in that baby Tina, but also in Carol, voiced by Eva Longoria and Ariana Greenblatt,” McGrath said.
Jeff Goldblum, Lisa Kudrow and Jimmy Kimmel are also part of the voice cast of the pic, which Universal opened on July 1.
Check out the panel video above.
Deadline Contenders Film Los Angeles Official Sponsor is Aero.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.