Pixar Removes Director Bob Peterson from 'The Good Dinosaur'

At any studio other than Pixar, the removal of a director from a high-profile project, mere months from release, would be a very big deal. But the truth is that Pixar has run into similar situations in four of their last eight films, most recently with Brave, and so far it hasn't hurt their track record for success one bit. After rumors began to surface last week that Bob Peterson had been removed as director of their 2014 film, The Good Dinosaur, the news has now been confirmed.

Peterson, who had co-directed Up with Pete Docter, had come up with the film's premise, which posits the idea that the asteroid that killed all the dinosaurs missed, and now they continue to walk the earth. While it would seem logical that co-director Peter Sohn would take over, instead Pixar is going with a "brain trust" to finish the project, which is expected to still hit the target release date of May 30th 2014. Promisingly, the committee includes John Lasseter (Toy Story, Cars), Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3), and Mark Andrews, who stepped in for Brenda Chapman on Brave.

Pixar president Ed Catmull had this to say about the move...

 “All directors get really deep in their films,” Catmull said this week. “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.”

The LA Times says the move was made over the summer due to "various creative choices" that Peterson didn't make. It's unfortunate as this would have been his first solo directing effort, after being a consistent presence on other Pixar films. He voiced Dug and Alpha in Up, and is also the voice of Roz in Monsters, Inc. Peterson remains with the company and has begun work on his next directing project with general manager and vice president of production, Jim Morris...

Morris: “Bob is still working at the studio, and we hope he will stay here for the rest of his natural life.”

Is that what they call in sports the "dreaded vote of confidence"?