On Wednesday, Boxoffice joined a small group of international press at Pixar's San Francisco campus for a preview of Cars 2 as well as the Toy Story short, "Hawaiian Vacation," which will precede the film when it reaches theaters. During a reception honoring the studio's 25 year anniversary, we spoke with Dan Scanlon, the director of the upcoming Monsters, Inc. sequel, Monsters University. Scanlon previously wrote the Cars short "Mater and the Ghostlight," and contributed screenplay material to the first Cars feature. Additionally, we met Kori Rae, who is producing the film, and previously worked on Up, The Incredibles, and the original Monsters, Inc.
The duo was tight-lipped about the film, but they confirmed the basic plot details revealed at Cinemacon earlier this week: Monsters University is a prequel to Monsters, Inc. which will focus on Mike and Sully during their college years, when the two of them met and forged an initially uneasy friendship. Meanwhile, Disney confirmed that both Billy Crystal and John Goodman were definitely returning to their respective roles as Mike and Sully, but didn't indicate which other cast members from the first film would appear in University. (Pixar, meanwhile, did not confirm that John Ratzenberger would be returning, but because he played the Abominable Snowman in the original film, who was not a character within Mike and Sully's regular world, it may make sense that he take on a different as-yet-unspecified role.)
Look for additional reports from our visit to the Pixar campus in the days to come. Cars 2 is scheduled for release on June 24, 2011.