Pixar president Ed Catmull confirmed a report from earlier this week that director Bob Peterson has been removed from The Good Dinosaur. The studio is still planning on hitting the May 30, 2014 release date that is already in place. Here's what the studio president had to say in a brief statement.
"All directors get really deep in their films. Sometimes you just need a different perspective to get the idea out. Sometimes directors ... are so deeply embedded in their ideas it actually takes someone else to finish it up. I would go so far as to argue that a lot of live-action films would be better off with that same process."
The report from three days ago revealed that the studio removed the first-time director due to issues they were having with the story. Until a replacement director can be found, a number of Pixar filmmakers are overseeing certain aspects of the project, including John Lasseter (Toy Story), Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3), Mark Andrews (Brave) and The Good Dinosaur co-director Peter Sohn. It should be noted that, at Pixar, a co-director plays a deputy role to the director.
The directorial ousting is nothing new at Pixar, since this is the fourth time it has happened in the past eight movies. Brad Bird replaced Jan Pinkava on Ratatouille, John Lasseter replaced Brad Lewis on Cars 2, and Mark Andrews replaced Brenda Chapman on Brave. This also comes at a time when the animation marketplace is growing rapidly, with Pixar trying to build off its early success. There will be 11 animated movies debuting in wide release this year, as opposed to just six movies a decade ago.
The Good Dinosaur is set in a world where the dinosaurs never went extinct, following a dinosaur who befriends a young teenage boy. The studio announced the project's voice cast earlier this month, headlined by Lucas Neff, John Leguizamo, Frances McDormand, Bill Hader, Neil Patrick Harris and Judy Greer.