Pixar CCO says live-action remakes bother him, prefers animated originals

Josh O’Connor won’t be playing Alfredo Linguini anytime soon. Pete Docter, Pixar’s creative director, said this week that the craze for animation and live-action “kind of bothers me.”

“This might bite me in the butt for saying it, but it kind of bothers me,” Docter said. TIME. “I like making original and unique films. Doing it again is not very interesting for me personally.

Docter’s comments came in response to a question about whether he had seen the online trend campaigning for Josh O’Connor – who has long spoken about his love of the 2007 Pixar hit. Ratatouille – to play Alfredo Linguini, a live-action protagonist.

Docter said the casting probably couldn’t happen — and besides, it might be difficult to make a “live-action rat cute,” he said.

This last problem concerns most of Pixar’s canon. “So much of what we create only works because of the rules of the world. [animated] world,” he said. “So if a human walks into a house that’s floating, your mind goes, ‘Wait a second.’ Wait. Houses are super heavy. How do balloons lift the house? But if you have a cartoon guy and he’s sitting there in the house, you say, “Okay, I’ll buy him.” The worlds we’ve built just don’t translate very easily.

The Pixar boss’ take also comes days before the studio’s release Inside Out 2for which he recognizes that the stakes are high.

“If it doesn’t work well in theaters, I think that just means we’re going to have to think even more radically about how we run our business,” Docter said. Pixar’s last two films, Light year And Elementaryunderperformed at the box office.

He also took a moment to acknowledge Pixar’s difficulty balancing its production of sequels versus more original content.

“Part of our strategy is to try to balance our production with more sequels. It’s hard. Everyone says, “Why don’t they do more original stuff?” “And then when we do it, people don’t see it because they don’t know it,” he said. “With sequels, people think, ‘Oh, I saw that.’ I know I like it. Sequels are very valuable that way.

He added: “It’s a bit cynical to say that people want to see things they know. But I think even with original stuff, that’s what we try to do too. We’re trying to find something that makes people go, “Oh yeah, I’ve been through that.” I understand that I recognize this as a truth of life. And it was more difficult to do.

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