For about 25 years, Brad Bird has been behind some of the most beloved animated movies. His first feature, The Iron Giant, left a massive mark on audiences (despite it initially being a commercial flop due to poor marketing) before heading to Pixar to make The Incredibles and Ratatouille, among other hits. After four years away from moviemaking, Bird has gotten another animated movie off the ground, but no bobbing lamps will be involved.
Yes, Brad Bird, who’s brand has become pretty synonymous with the Disney studio throughout his career, is not working with Pixar for his next project. The filmmaker is developing a movie called Ray Gunn with Skydance Animation instead, per Deadline.
Bird is directing and producing Ray Gunn from a script he wrote alongside Matthew Robbins, who previously penned Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak and stop-motion Pinocchio film. Also among the producers is former Pixar head John Lasseter, who left the Toy Story studio in 2018 after a number sexual misconduct allegations came out.
Skydance Animation did not disclose the plot details of Ray Gunn, but it’s said to be an “original story” by Brad Bird. The Ratatouille filmmaker shared he is excited to ”create a one-of-a-kind animated experience” with the movie, which he has been wanting to make “for a long time.”
The animation studio is a branch of Skydance Media, which was founded back in 2006 and has previously produced Brad Bird’s Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, along with True Grit, Star Trek Into Darkness, the Jack Reacher movies and, more recently, The Tomorrow War. Skydance Animation is a young studio that plans to release its debut feature film, Luck, this summer for those with an AppleTV+ subscription.
Luck will be directed by Peggy Holmes, who previously helmed Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas, The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning and The Pirate Fairy for Disney, among the many other animated films he's worked on. Skydance Animation is working with Apple TV+ on three other films, which are called Spellbound (set for release November 2022), The Fourteenth Goldfish and Pookoo.
Brad Bird’s last animated film was The Incredibles 2, which became Pixar’s highest grossing film of all time back in 2018. While Bird is a beloved filmmaker, they haven’t all been winners. Among his collection of great films, his only real regarded miss is 2015’s Tomorrowland. Given the filmmaker has a sweet spot for science fiction and Ray Gunn sounds a lot like “ray gun,” I could see the upcoming movie to fit into that genre, but we just don’t have enough details about the project right now.
In the meantime, Pixar is moving forward with a slew of new directors as of late that have ended up debuting their films solely on Disney+. Pixar’s next release is Turning Red, which will come exclusively to the streaming service on March 11.
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Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.