For two years until this summer, Pete Docter was performing a delicate balancing act. While directing his latest feature Soul at Pixar, he was also serving as the studio’s newly minted chief creative officer (CCO). A new profile by The Hollywood Reporter’s Rebecca Keegan examines how he ended up in that position and what he plans to do with the studio now.
With Soul now finally on our screens — our small screens, as the film was redirected from theaters to Disney+ — Docter can concentrate on being CCO. Described as the heir to his predecessor John Lasseter, Docter nevertheless assumed the role in surprising circumstances: Lasseter had stepped down amid accusations of sexual harassment, and Docter felt he had no choice but to step up, even though he was halfway through production on Soul.
Keegan describes Docter’s confusion at the time: a combination of his sense of duty to the studio, his anxiety about his own leadership skills, and his conflicted feelings about Lasseter’s legacy. She also sets out his vision for Pixar, focusing on his emphasis on diversity. Below are our main takeaways.