Friday, February 09, 2007

Toy 3 Due Without Lasseter

Toy Story 3 is coming in 2009, but John Lasseter won't be the director, Variety reported. In an unusually candid presentation, Lasseter and Disney Animation president Ed Catmull provided extensive details on their upcoming slate at Disney's investor conference on Feb. 8, the trade paper reported.

In addition to confirming for the first time that a third Toy Story is in the works, most likely for a 2009 release, Lasseter said Lee Unkrich will helm it. Unkrich co-directed Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc. and Finding Nemo, but has never before been sole helmer on a Pixar film.

Lasseter directed the first two Toy Story movies, but is presumably too busy in his new post as chief creative officer of Disney Animation to work on individual films. Michael Arndt, the Oscar-nominated writer of Little Miss Sunshine, is penning the script.

Lasseter also revealed a behind-the-scenes shift at Walt Disney Feature Animation, which is separate from Pixar but also under the control of Lasseter and Catmull, by announcing that Chris Williams, a veteran Disney story artist, is now directing the 2008 release American Dog. Dog was developed and previously under the control of Lilo & Stitch helmer Chris Sanders, who recently left Disney.

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