Elemental Director Teases the Rom-Com Aspect of Pixar's New Film

Pixar Animation Studios' next film, Elemental, will hit theaters this summer taking viewers into the extraordinary Element City, a place where various elements live and work, and will follow Ember, a 20-something fire woman who ventures out of her comfort zone when she meets Wade, an empathetic 20-something water guy who isn't afraid to show his emotions. The film's trailer was released on Monday, giving fans a look at the dazzling and dynamic world Ember and Wade live in as well as a glimpse of the budding romance between the two elements in a world where "elements don't mix".

The film, while exploring themes of finding one's self and coming into one's own as an adult, also is a romance as Wade (Mamoudou Athie) and Ember (Leah Lewis) explore the connection between them even though they are from different elements — different cultures. During a recent press day at Pixar Animation Studios attended by ComicBook.com, Elemental's director Peter Sohn teased the romance aspect of the movie, but also explained that it's a love story that's larger than just the two young elements. It's a story that's as much about the city and the familial relationships as well.

"That connection between fire and water was the first thing I pitched to Disney. Could fire and water connect? Is that even possible? And that hook sort of drove it. And I'm a huge fan of so many romantic comedies, from the Jane Austen films, to Moonstruck, The Big Sick, Amelie, you know how they bring cities into the stories as well. The idea of the romance is a big part of the movie, but it was also a triangle, you know," Sohn said. "It's not just like a boy needing a girl or boy, it was also a father and a daughter, and what that relationship was and so the initial concept was to try to make something universal that we could have part of that connection with these two, fire and water, but then also understanding the family dynamic in that cultural part of this and to make the film larger and then there are other themes that I hope you guys also get out of it. That makes the film much bigger."

Everything you need to know about Elemental.

According to Disney and Pixar, Elemental is an all-new original feature film that transports moviegoers to an extraordinary place called Element City, where a host of elements live and work. The trailer showcases each element—air, earth, water, and fire—and what sets them apart according to Ember, a quick-witted and fiery woman who's always stayed close to home in Firetown. In "Elemental," which opens in theaters on June 16, she finally ventures out of her comfort zone to explore this spectacular world born from the imaginations of Pixar's filmmakers and specifically crafted for the big-screen experience. Element City is inspired by big cities around the globe and embraces theorized contributions from each elemental community—from giant pine-tree-like buildings and waterfall skyscrapers to a tornado-shaped arena called Cyclone Stadium. 

In addition to Athie and Lewis, the film stars Ronnie del Carmen as Ember's soon-to-be retired dad, Bernie; Shila Ommi as Ember's love-seeking mom, Cinder; Wendi McLendon-Covey as Wade's stormy and Air-Ball-loving boss, Gale; Catherine O'Hara as Wade's welcoming mom, Brook; Mason Wertheimer as Ember's admiring earth neighbor, Clod; and Joe Pera as an overgrown city bureaucrat, Fern. The film is directed by Sohn, produced by Denise Ream and executive produced by Pete Doctor. The film features a screenplay by John Hobert and Kat Likkel and Brenda Hsueh with story by Sohn, Hobert and Likkel and Hsueh. The film also has an original score by Thomas Newman. An all-new short, Carl's Date, will screen in front of Elemental in theaters.

Elemental opens in theaters on June 16th.