Bleats

Toy Story 2 Somehow Survived Disasters That Would've Killed Any Other Movie

Miracles do happen.

2019 has been a big year for Toy Story films. Not only did Pixar make a miracle of a fourth movie that lived up to its predecessors, it also happens to be the 20th anniversary of Toy Story 2.

Since we’ve heaped enough praise onto 4 already, let’s focus on 2 because not only is it great but because it’s a goddamn miracle it exists at all due to all the problems Pixar faced in the making of it. We’re talking about situations that literally involved life and death, and issues that would’ve killed any other film.

Toy Story 2 began life in 1997 initially as a straight-to-video release, which was the norm for most hit Disney films at the time. After being surprised at the quality of work being produced at Pixar and the realisation that straight-to-video releases weren’t the big money-making things they were expecting, the Disney suits decided to upgrade the project to a full blown sequel to be released in cinemas in November 1999.

After some initial re-teething issues that involved bringing in the original Toy Story team back to help whip the film into a releasable state, things were going alright for Woody and his pals. That is until 1998 when an animator accidentally wiped out 90% of the work completed so far on Toy Story 2 and there was no way to recover it.

Now this would’ve been it for any other project but lady luck was shining on the team.

Technical director Galyn Susman had just given birth and was working from home so she could take care of her newborn child. As part of this arrangement, she made back ups of nearly all the Toy Story 2 assets and this stroke of luck saved Pixar’s bacon (sorry Hamm) as the team were able to recover nearly all their work.

But that wasn’t the end of Toy Story 2‘s production problems. At the start of 1999, the Pixar team weren’t happy with how the film was turning out and it was agreed that they would rework major bits of the film. So in a nutshell, they were essentially starting from scratch (again).

The only problem? They now had only nine months to finish everything in order to meet the November 1999 release date and moving the date back wasn’t an option due to all the merch and promo deals in place.

This led to a brutal months long crunch period where Pixar worked themselves to the brink in order to complete Toy Story 2 in time. Repetitive strain injuries started affecting animators and overtime became the norm. In fact, the team were so dedicated to their work that an animator reportedly forgot to drop their kid at daycare one morning and left their kid in the backseat of their care.

Production on Toy Story 2 in a nutshell.

The kid was ultimately fine thanks to quick action of rescue workers but it spoke volumes as to how brutal the production was on Toy Story 2 due to all the issues, as well as the dedication the Pixar team had to the film.

In the end, the only things that remained prior to the early 1999 reboot were Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Hamm, Potato Head and Rex, Andy’s room, and the big sequence at in Al’s Toy Barn. Everything else was new.

Pixar somehow managing to meet their deadline was a miracle in of itself and the fact that Toy Story 2 was showered with critical and commercial acclaim was a massive surprise given all the production troubles.

In the borrowed words of Buzz Lightyear, Toy Story 2 got sent to infinity and beyond several times, and yet it still managed to make it back and surprise everyone.

We Should've Got David Hayter's 2003 Take Of Watchmen Instead Of Zack Snyder's

Jorah Mormont as Nite Owl = gold.

Between the 10th anniversary of Zack Snyder’s adaptation of Watchmen, the Doomsday Clock comic series, and Damon Lindelof’s continuation on HBO, we’ve been getting quite a lot of Watchmen content lately. Sensing that the train is running hot, David Hayter (writer of the first two X-Men films) decided to drop some never-before-seen test footage from his 2003 stab at the iconic comic book series.

And folks, it is some serious stuff.

Starring Iain Glen as Nite Owl and Ray Stevenson as Rorschach, the clip depicts the first conversation we see of the two characters. It’s only four minutes long and is clearly ripped from some ancient VHS that was left on a shelf for too long… and yet it is just awesome.

No disrespect to Patrick Wilson and Jackie Earle Haley, who played the hell out of Nite Owl and Rorschach respectively in Zack Snyder’s 2009 film adaptation, but Glen and Stevenson’s refined takes on the characters in David Hayter’s take just works better.

There’s a distinct pulpy feel to the proceedings but without any of that dreary grimdark flair Snyder likes to splash everything with. If those four minutes aren’t enough to make you wish for Hayter’s take on Watchmen over Snyder’s, then his follow-up tweets on what his movie might’ve been will change your mind.

The writer/director acknowledged Glen’s great performance and revealed that not only would his take have been set in modern times, Stevenson only came onboard when Daniel Craig “bailed” last minute.

But perhaps the most interesting Watchmen tidbit from Hayter was him wanting Denzel Washington for the role of Dr. Manhattan. If there was someone who could sell a glowing blue god who likes walking around naked while sprouting monologues about the folly of man, it’s definitely Denzel.

But as history tells us, David Hayter’s 2003 version of Watchmen never got off the ground and we wouldn’t get that long-awaited film adaptation until Zack Snyder came into the picture years later.

While it was an absolute shame to miss out what was shaping up to be a very interesting take on Watchmen, it seems like history is making up for it by giving us the HBO continuation, which has been stuffed full of great moments, like Laurie Blake’s giant blue dildo, Jeremy Irons playing a manic Adrian Veidt and the brilliant “remixed” origin story of Hooded Justice.

Move Over Henry Cavill, Michael B. Jordan Is The Superman We Want

Just do it, DC.

For all the success DC have had with its slate of superhero films, the one hero they’ve yet to successfully crack has been Superman. Henry Cavill may be visually perfect for the part but his films haven’t exactly set the world alight. Now word on the street is that another even more charismatic chap is being eyed for the role: Michael B. Jordan.

Super.

According to a big breakdown on the future of DC’s movie slate from Variety, the suits at Warner Bros. have been trying to figure out a way to make Superman palatable to fickle audiences these days and they’ve chatted to both J.J. Abrams (who signed a big deal with the studio) and Michael B. Jordan to help make it a reality.

The most interesting tidbit however is Jordan reportedly pitched the suits his “vision” for Superman. But despite interest from both parties, don’t expect Michael B. Jordan to be the new Man of Steel any time soon.

Variety reports that Jordan’s schedule is filled up with projects and filming on a Superman flick won’t happen for a few years so expect nothing sooner than a 2023 release at the earliest should he join the DC universe. It may a while away but this is only a good thing as it’ll allow the filmmakers to get the material into working shape before beginning production. We don’t want another Batman V Superman and Justice League situation here.

Good things come to those who wait (hopefully).

It’s all just talk at the moment but let’s say the gears are turning and Michael B. Jordan is indeed in the frame for Superman, then he’s definitely the perfect replacement for Henry Cavill.

He’s a great actor, buff as all hell, has charisma spilling out of his pockets, and would look fantastic wearing a red cape with a big “S” on it. Plus it would be fantastic to see someone other than a white bloke play Superman for a change.

Even more importantly is Jordan’s self-confessed love for comic books and knowledge of the character, While no one exactly knows what he pitched to Warner Bros. regarding his vision for Superman, we can hazard a guess based on some previous comments that his idea is to play the character of Calvin Ellis (who is basically a Superman from another alternative universe) rather than Clark Kent.

So where does this leave Henry Cavill if Michael B. Jordan does eventually become Superman? Well there are two possibilities that we can see. The first is Jordan straight up replaces Cavill, who probably won’t be too happy about that given how he’s still keen to keep the role (despite admitting his Superman films were crap).

The second possibility is both Cavill and Jordan get to play Superman, which wouldn’t be too farfetched if Warner Bros. buys into the whole multi-verse idea and having multiple versions of the character.

For now though, there are no Superman projects in the works as far as we know so we’re just going to have to make do with fantasies and fanart of Michael B. Jordan wearing the red cape for the time being.

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