Pixar’s name alone attracts audiences. Over two decades in they remain the gold standard of any Hollywood animation house. Still, they tend to stack their casts with big names. At this year’s news-heavy D23 Expo — where we’ve already seen the Mandalorian trailer, heard that Kit Harington is going Marvel, and learned that Jeff Goldblum has his own Disney+ TV show — we also learned this: One of their next films, Soul, finally has a voice cast, headlined by Tina Fey and Jamie Foxx.
Helmed by one of the studio’s top talents, Pete Docter — who’s helmed Monsters, Inc., Up, and Inside Out — Soul sounds the most like the latter, though details on the plot remain sparse. As per Entertainment Weekly, it will follow an “unsatisfied middle school band teacher,” voiced by Foxx, who’s long wanted to become a jazz musician but has never had the chance to really pursue his dream. When he suddenly dies, he discovers an unexpected after life and hatches a plan with a fellow newly dead soul, voiced by Fey, to return him to Earth. The cast will also include Daveed Diggs, Phylicia Rachad, and Questlove.
At D23, Docter described its ambitions. “I’m directing a film that asks the ultimate question that we’ve all thought about at one time or another: Why am I here? Where did I come from? And what am I here for?” Docter said. “But who would make a cartoon about that? Metaphysics? We’re calling it Soul.”
Fey’s frequent partner-in-crime, Amy Poehler, of course, headlined Inside Out for Pixar and Docter. So soon they’ll have yet another thing in common. Soul is due June 19, 2020 — a mere few months after another Pixar original, Onward, starring Tom Holland and Chris Pratt.