Earlier this week, we reported on a very worrying rumor that longtime Pixarian Bob Peterson has been removed as director of The Good Dinosaur. Today, Pixar spoke out and confirmed the truth: Bob Peterson has been pulled off the project and replaced by a makeshift team of directors.
Ed Catmull confirmed the news to the LA Times, going on to explain the rationale behind the decision. "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."
With no replacement for Peterson and a release date quickly approaching, various members of Pixar’s Brain Trust are working with original co-director Pete Sohn to continue work on The Good Dinosaur; John Lasseter, Lee Unkrich, and Mark Andrews are now overseeing various segments of the film. Denise Ream is producing in place of John Walker.
While directorial changes are nothing new for Pixar, having four directors juggle a project nine months before release doesn’t inspire much confidence. Pixar remains committed to the May 30 release date, but personally, I’d rather see them push the release back if it means a more polished result.
The good news: Peterson is still at the studio, set to direct another film.