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DisneyFeature Film

Chris Williams Added as Co-Director of Disney’s “Big Hero 6”

Corporations often leak contentious news during the holiday season when no one is paying attention, which could be why it was revealed yesterday that Disney has added a new co-director, Chris Williams, to its upcoming Marvel-based Big Hero 6. Williams (above), who co-directed and co-wrote Bolt, joins previously announced director Don Hall on the animation actioner that will be released in just 10 months.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the film also has a new producer, Roy Conli (Tangled). The original producer of Big Hero 6 was Kristina Reed (Paperman), and it is unclear from the news reports whether she will still be involved with the film.

At another studio, this kind of a shake-up might be cause for alarm, but Disney Animation’s chief creative officer, John Lasseter, has made late-in-the-game directorial shake-ups a key feature of his management style. The late addition of Jennifer Lee as a director of Frozen was, by some insider accounts, due to issues with Chris Buck’s creative approach to the film. That film’s murky character development and arbitrary plot points reflected the absence of a clear vision at the helm, but its massive box office success has quieted the film’s critics and validated Lasseter’s style of mixing and matching directors to achieve a viable commercial product. There’s no reason to believe at this point that he won’t be able to pull off another hat trick with Big Hero 6.

(Chris Williams photo: Stuttgart Animated Film Festival)

  • Lucky Jim

    I won’t lie, I much prefer news about adding a director as opposed to replacing one!

    Hilariously enough, Chris Williams’s story for the Disney artist comic anthology “What Is Torch Tiger” is about a bunch of superheroes trying to get a computer to work.. “Big Hero 6” is his fate.

  • Capital7

    Not the best news for this film. Hm.

  • Johnny

    I’m assuming the article calling the city San Francisco was a mistake on the writer’s part. I’m all for them dropping the clunker of a name they came up with.

    • Jonah Sidhom

      I like “San Fransokyo”…

  • Funkybat

    Seems like there is some kind of directorial change (either replacement or addition) on every Pixar or Disney film in recent years. It may be “working” from a box office standpoint, but I am concerned that it seems to becoming almost commonplace for features.

  • George Comerci

    Well, if something like this worked with Frozen, I’m sure it will work with this.

  • Klyph14

    While money may be validating the films the quality of the them certainly doesn’t. I consider Frozen, Brave, Bolt and Cars 2 to all be totally lacking in quality storytelling and all are movies where Lasseter decided to yank directors late in the development cycle. I’d consider the only succesfull film that the Disney Studio has released under Lasseter to be Wreck-It-Ralph, a film that had a clear direction the entire way through by Rich Moore.

    I guess i just wish he would trust the people he hires and let them do their thing.

    • k

      what gets me is that for all of those films, especially Frozen, you could tell a very very solid story was there waiting to be told, but due to either rushed times or some other interference, a lot of it had to be squeezed, bypassed, or reworked. For what it was, the film was absolutely gorgeous and you could tell it shone simply because those involved with it were so incredibly passionate about it, but if there was a steady right from start to finish it would’ve been a masterpiece… it hurts to think about because I love it to death and I want to see what it could’ve been.

    • Steve

      What about Tangled?

  • Strong Enough

    “That film’s murky character development and arbitrary plot points reflected the absence of a clear vision at the helm,”

    god damnit. there it goes :dead:

    • Steve

      They were talking about Frozen.