Whatever Covid has in store for our summer breaks, Pixar is promising us at least some seaside sun. The studio’s next feature, Luca, is set on the Italian coast. The balmy setting is explored in the film’s first teaser, which dropped today.
Luca is about the relationship between the title character and his best friend, two boys bound by a shared secret: they are both sea monsters. The trailer reveals the interplay between this fantastical realm and the sun-baked village they live in, set to what sounds like an Italian rendition of “You Are My Sunshine.” Watch it below:
Luca is the feature directorial debut of Enrico Casarosa, a longtime Pixar story artist (Ratatouille, Up, Coco) who also directed the studio’s Oscar-nominated short film La Luna. The new film draws on his own upbringing, as he revealed in a previous statement:
This is a deeply personal story for me, not only because it’s set on the Italian Riviera where I grew up, but because at the core of this film is a celebration of friendship. Childhood friendships often set the course of who we want to become and it is those bonds that are at the heart of our story in Luca. So in addition to the beauty and charm of the Italian seaside, our film will feature an unforgettable summer adventure that will fundamentally change Luca.
The film is produced by Andrea Warren (Lava, Cars 3), and written by Mike Jones (Soul) and Jesse Andrews (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl). John Hoffman is head of story. Jacob Tremblay voices Luca, with the voice cast also featuring Jack Dylan Grazer, Emma Berman, Maya Rudolph, Marco Barricelli, and Jim Gaffigan.
This is Pixar’s third straight original feature, following Onward and Soul, both of which came out last year. Domee Shi’s Turning Red, which is due to come out on March 11, 2022, will continue that run.
Luca is set to hit theaters on June 18, 2021; Disney reiterated its commitment to a theatrical release at its Investor Day in December. Of course, nothing is certain in the current circumstances, and it remains possible that the film will be delayed or (more likely) rerouted to Disney+, as Soul was.