WALL-E Director to Helm Sci-Fi Movie From Simon Kinberg

The director behind animated hits A Bug's Life, Finding Nemo, and WALL-E is gearing up for his next feature film. The Hollywood Reporter brings word that Andrew Stanton is in talks to direct the film Chairman Spaceman, set up at Searchlight Pictures and Simon Kingberg's Genre Films. Based on a Thomas Pierce story that first appeared in The New Yorker, the trade reports that the story tells the tale of "an infamous corporate raider who renounces his worldly wealth to become an interplanetary missionary." Pierce is set to pen the script for the film with Kinberg set to produce through Genre Films alongside Audrey Chon (The Twilight Zone).

Chairman Spaceman will mark just the second live-action feature film for Stanton who made his name in Hollywood after working with Pixar for many years. In addition to directing the trio mentioned above (plus the 2016 sequel Finding Dory), Stanton also wrote the screenplay for Toy Story, Monsters, Inc., Toy Story 2, and Toy Story 4. His voice is also known to many film fans having provided the voice for the sea turtle Crush in Finding Nemo and the Evil Emperor Zurg in Toy Story.

Stanton previously dabbled in live-action with the notorious big screen flop John Carter. An adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs stories, the film was a major disappointment for Disney upon release but has since earned its fair share of fans. In the time since then Stanton has worked in live-action elsewhere beyond the silver screen, stepping behind the camera for television shows like Legion, Tales from the Loop, Better Call Saul, and Netflix's Stranger Things.

The two time Oscar winner previously opened up about how working in the two mediums was surprisingly similar after that 2012 film was released, telling The Sheaf: “People think that when you work on an animated film, it’s as if [you’re] talking to a bunch of computers [your] whole life. I actually talk to 200 people every day, 200 people that have different jobs, like how to do the lighting, the camera, the costume work. So it’s very similar, actually, in live-action. I’m talking to people that do the camera, the costumes, the actors, and it’s just that you’re doing it outside instead of inside.”

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It's unclear when Stanton and co. will be able to film this project, but seeing the Oscar winner return to the big screen with a new project is exciting news.

(Cover photo by Serge BENHAMOU/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

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