We're still waiting to see Pixar's Soul after the film was delayed from its original June release date to November, but the forward progress of the industry can't slow down that much. This morning Pixar has finally given us a first look at the next Pixar feature film that will follow Soul. It's called Luca and it will follow a boy named Luca and tell the story of a summer he spends on the Italian Riviera. The film is set to release in theaters, something we now need to specify, in the summer of 2021.
We're given little more than a brief description and a title card, and a single piece of concept art, though the image certainly conjures up carefree summers of one's youth, even if you didn't get to spend them on the Italian Riviera. Luca is directed by Enrico Casarosa and produced by Andrea Warren. Check it out.
Luca will mark the feature directorial debut of Enrico Casarosa. He's been with Pixar since the mid-2000s. He worked as a storyboard artist on films like Ratatouille and Up but has been part of the senior creative team on more recent Pixar features like Coco and Toy Story 4. He also wrote and directed the Oscar-nominated short La Luna. Producer Andrea Warren also has an extensive Pixar resume as a producer, most recently having co-produced Cars 3.
While Luca appears to be a simple coming-of-age story, and it certainly will be that Disney has released a bit of additional information that reveals the extra bit of magic and wonder that will be part of the story. Luca isn't really a boy, he's actually a sea monster from another world. He keeps this secret from his new (human) best friend, but we can probably guess that won't last too long.
A story about childhood friendships, with a dash of the supernatural thrown in, sounds like it's right in the wheelhouse of what we expect from Pixar. Add into that what is sure to be a beautifully animated version of a beautiful place, and the fact that the director grew up there, and we can be sure we'll get a lovingly realized vision of a film.
Following a collection of sequels including Incredibles 2 and Toy Story 4, Pixar is embarking on a series of original concepts that won't have the instant name recognition of the popular franchises. Soul is the first in line, and now Luca will be the follow-up. After that, we have a pair of as yet untitled Pixar films set to release in 2022.
While not given a specific release date here, Disney's current theatrical release calendar previously listed an untitled Pixar film for June 18, 2021, so this is where we can pencil in Luca for the time being. Of course, if we continue to see delays in theatrical releases, then everything could be pushed further back.