Pixar has made its name with a series of critically acclaimed family-friendly animated movies. Their latest movie is Soul, which tells the story of a man who passes away before his time and is desperate to get back to Earth with the help of a soul that is about to be born into the world. In an interview with Collider, Kristen Lester, who is the story supervisor for Soul, revealed that the initial drafts for the movie were completely different and in the vein of Ocean's Eleven.
"All our movies take very different paths and you'd be shocked at what you saw when stuff was early in development to where it ended up being. Sometimes they're very, very, very different movies and yeah, the first sketch of the movie, it was more of a heist movie that Joe was trying to go back to his life basically through, I can't remember, doing a bunch of heist-y stuff. And I remember we came to the end of that version of the movie and it just felt like, again, like I talked about, doing honor to the subject matter and the thing that it was exploring, which is what gives life meaning, what is our purpose in life? The questions that Pete was answering. And it felt like that version of the movie wasn't doing that justice, and so we had to take out... Okay, it's not Ocean's Eleven. What can we do to dig deeper into the thing that people really wanted to talk about?"
While a lot of the plot for Soul takes place on Earth, a huge chunk of the story also takes place in the "spirit world", which has its own set of rules in terms of the way things function. Naturally, the creative team behind the movie had to think of some way to make the audience familiar with their story's version of the spiritual plane right from the start. According to story artist Aphton Corbin, jamming lots of exposition into the first thirty minutes of the movie in an entertaining manner was a tricky feat to pull off.
"We were trying to introduce a lot of concepts in a short amount of time, and it was a lot of us finding ways to still make things entertaining while you're getting exposition and finding ways to... How much do you really not need and just let the audience enjoy how crazy and whimsical things are? And I remember the moment when Pete introduced the idea of having that little You Seminar video and the humor of, "Welcome to the You Seminar," and that being a huge, Oh, great, okay. There's some more exposition for free. But then also just letting some stuff just go unexplained. I think that was a new risk for us of Joe just starts falling and there's all these different lines and colors vibrating and it's just going to happen and we're all going to go on this crazy adventure. The more we explain stuff, the less ethereal it is and just having some faith there as well."
Directed by Pete Docter, Soul features Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Questlove, Phylicia Rashad, Daveed Diggs, and Angela Bassett. The film will debut on Disney+ starting December 25. This news comes courtesy of Collider.