In Hollywood, it’s a “what-have-you-done-lately?” attitude and lately, Andrew Stanton lost Disney over $200 million with his epic flop John Carter. Despite helping write, direct and generally create a whole slate of films for Disney/Pixar (Toy Story, WALL-E, Monsters Inc.) a flop the magnitude of John Carter can destroy a writer/director’s career in an instant (ask Michael Cimino, who was sitting on top of the cinema world after The Deer Hunter. Then he made Heaven’s Gate.)
Just announced today, Stanton is getting another shot at directing for the mouse-eared giant, but it’s back to animation for him. He’ll be helming Finding Nemo 2, the sequel to the first film which he also directed and helped make an $867.9 million hit (third-highest-grossing Disney animated film).
My guess is that Disney will never place a live-action project in Stanton’s hands again, and if he’s successful with this sequel—he will; tickets are probably being bought and the film isn’t in production yet—then they’ll continue to let him steer their animated vehicles into the land of milk and money.
And if this sequel doesn’t do well?
Andrew Stanton will be getting a pink-slip from a certain white-gloved child pleaser, and it’s not Michael Jackson.