Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Studio Rounds at WBA and WDAS

Now with Add On!

Today was a double studio day, starting at Walt Disney Animation Studios where I had a long talk with a staffer.

We've ramped up to doing one film a year, and the movies are overlapping now. Big Hero Six is taking a story pause, but it'll probably be in production by August or September. Artists are pitching their ideas to to John [Lasseter], and people who are starting to develop something now will have to get at the back of a long line, because there's lots of pictures in development. ... John likes to have environments and worlds and character ideas pitched to him, not honed down plots. ...

It's a good thing that there's so many different projects happening. Not too many years ago there was a lot less movies in work. Another employee told me that Big Hero Six has a couple of Marvel reps who sit in some of the story meetings and kick in suggestions (although Disney artists are doing the boarding and scripting.)

In the afternoon I was at Warner Bros. Animation for a 401(k) enrollment meeting and my usual walk around. WBA's cartoon studion the Warner Ranch is pretty quiet. Most of its current shows have wrapped, and although a couple of new shows are close to greenlight, no crews have been hired. Said one artist:

I keep reading on the internet how Bruce Timm is leaving. But he's not going anywhere. He just stepped down from his executive producer position. He's still here. Still working on his projects. ...

Speaking of projects ...

... [I]t’s no secret that the studio worked for years on a new iteration of the character before both Man of Steel and Bryan Singer’s 2006 film Superman Returns came to fruition. A number of screenwriters and directors tried to crack Superman, and one of the better-known versions that never made it to the screen is the J.J. Abrams-scripted Superman: Flyby. Abrams’ take was an origin story that saw Krypton besieged by a civil war that spills over onto Earth, but it was eventually passed over in favor of Singer’s Returns story.

Steve recently landed an exclusive interview with DC Comics Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns, and during the course of their conversation Steve asked Johns if DC would ever consider turning one of the many Warner Bros.-owned unproduced screenplays for a superhero movie into a direct-to-video animated feature. Johns revealed that, in fact, that notion has come up before. ...

I think the odds of the above happening is nil. But it's pretty to think that it might. (There are, at present, video features centered around a Great Dane. But then, there are always video features going on that are centered around a Great Dane. Their production will be continuing until the sun reaches its red star phase.

Add On: Disney officially announces Big Hero 6:

Walt Disney Animation Studios is announcing its first movie inspired by a Marvel comic Thursday, an adaptation of a lesser known crime fighter series called “Big Hero 6.”

Directed by Don Hall (“Winnie the Pooh”) and due in 2014, the CG-animated movie will center on a robotics prodigy named Hiro Hamada and his robot companion BayMax, who join a team of superheroes in a high-tech city called San Fransokyo.

(For a closer look at the city of San Fransokyo, see the video above).

Even die-hard comic book fans may have trouble recalling the Marvel series, which was created by Steven T. Seagle and Duncan Rouleau in 1998 and is something of a whimsical love letter to Japanese culture. Characters in the original comic include a samurai, an agent who invented a nanotechnology-based Power Purse and a monster born from a child’s drawings. ...

Disney says that "Marvel Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada has been participating in brainstorming sessions about the project." (Which is what one of the artists on the third floor of the hat building told me yesterday.)


Anonymous said...

How is Ron & John's picture doing? Is it progressing? Will it be the next release after Big Hero 6?

David Gilson said...

No, probably not the next after BH6 !

Steve Hulett said...

There are several lined up on the tarmac. Big Hero Six is still deep in story.

Mr. Lasseter will be down shortly to flog development along, also hold meetings large and small.

I saw a dandy scene from Frozen yesterday. Picture looks good, even though everybody has pedals to the metal.

Unknown said...

Does Disney Animation have a film coming out in the year 2015? Pixar has "Inside Out" in June 2015 & "Finding Dory" in November 2015.
Will Walt Disney Feature Animation not release a film in 2015 cause of this?

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