At a press briefing at The Walt Disney Co. headquarters in Burbank last Thursday, studios chairman Rich Ross said Disney’s Pixar division is creating a sequel to “Monsters Inc.” that will hit theaters in November 2012. The original film from 2001 grossed $529 million worldwide.
Ross also said the studio was about to give the go-ahead to a new movie featuring the Muppets which will introduce a new character named Walter. “He’s in felt and fur rehab now as we build him,” Ross said. It was not clear when the movie would hit theaters. But he said there will be plenty of cameos, as with all Muppet movies. So watch for Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy, too. James Bobin, the creator of “The Flight of the Conchords” TV series, is set to direct.
The announcements were among several made during a presentation of the studio’s upcoming slate of films. Disney is in the midst of selling off its Miramax Films division as it focuses on family-oriented fare from Marvel, Pixar, its own studio and Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks unit.
Among other future films is a retelling of the Winnie the Pooh story using hand-drawn animation; a Tim Burton-led stop-motion animation movie called “Frankenweenie” about a boy’s revival of his lost dog; and another Pixar movie called “John Carter of Mars” about a man who goes through a portal to the red planet as imagined by author Edgar Rice Burroughs. “Wall-E” writer Andrew Stanton of Pixar has been tapped to handle the otherworldly live action picture starring Taylor Kitsch. The movie is set to hit theaters in 2012.