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Pixar CCO Says Live-Action Remakes Bother Him, Prefers Animated Originals

Pixar CCO Says Live-Action Remakes Bother Him, Prefers Animated Originals

Josh O’Connor won’t be playing Alfredo Linguini anytime soon. Pixar chief creative officer Pete Docter said this week that the animation-to-live-action craze “sort of bothers me.”

“This might bite me in the butt for saying it, but it sort of bothers me,” Docter told TIME. “I like making movies that are original and unique to themselves. To remake it, it’s not very interesting to me personally.”

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

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

The latter issue spans across most of Pixar’s canon. “So much of what we create only works because of the rules of the [animated] world,” he said. “So if you have a human walk into a house that floats, your mind goes, ‘Wait a second. Hold on. Houses are super heavy. How are balloons lifting the house?’ But if you have a cartoon guy and he stands there in the house, you go, ‘Okay, I’ll buy it.’ The worlds that we’ve built just don’t translate very easily.”

The Pixar boss’ perspective also lands just a few days ahead of the studio’s release of Inside Out 2, which he acknowledges carries heavy stakes.

“If this doesn’t do well at the theater, I think it just means we’re going to have to think even more radically about how we run our business,” Docter said — Pixar’s last two releases, Lightyear and Elemental, underperformed at the box office.

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He also took a moment to acknowledge Pixar’s struggle to balance their production of sequels versus more original content.

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

He added, “It’s sort of cynical to say people want to see stuff they know. But I think even with original stuff, that’s what we’re trying to do too. We’re trying to find something that people feel like, ‘Oh yeah, I’ve been through that. I understand that I recognize this as a life truth.’ And that’s been harder to do.”

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