From an outsider’s perspective, John Lasseter was the Santa Claus of Pixar — a jolly fat man who generated all the magic of his kingdom. When the mask was pulled off and everyone saw Master Roshi from Dragon Ball underneath, it was quite the shock. Most importantly, where does the studio go from here?
Pete Docter, the man appointed in Lasseter’s place, felt those concerns, even though the public perception of Pixar was different from how it actually worked. In a new interview conducted by THR, Docter reveals Lasseter himself had always intended for Docter to replace him – the changeover just happened sooner than anyone expected.
According to Docter, Lasseter was barely present at Pixar by the time the scandal broke, and adjusting to his absence wasn’t THAT difficult. But the 20-year decline of Disney after the death of Walt was also on his mind. He had to avoid Pixar succumbing to such a fate if he could help it.
Docter hopes to retain the creative spirit that has generated so many hits over the decades — with one difference. One of his goals is to put an end to the boy’s club that Pixar has been since its inception, and diversify both the workforce and the movies the studio puts forth. More voices of color will tell stories, and an equal amount of women and men will direct features.
You won’t be seeing the change immediately, as the next three films due out from Pixar were greenlit before Docter took the throne: Luca, about an Italian child with a strange new friend, Lightyear, an in-universe Toy Story spinoff centered on the character the Buzz toy was based on, and Turning Red, a really strange one about a teenage girl who turns into a giant red panda when she gets mad.
Docter says you’ll also never see the Sequel Marathon that took place during Lasseter’s later tenure again, but that doesn’t mean sequels are gone for good. “We have a lot of original stuff, which I’m personally excited about, but for financial safety we probably should have a few more sequels in there.”
Read the full interview at THR.