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Pixar gets existential in first teaser for 'Soul' with Jamie Foxx and Tina Fey

By Josh Weiss

Who are we? Where do we come from? What makes us human? Pixar is interested in asking (and answering) these big universal questions in the first teaser for Soul, an upcoming original film from writer/director Pete Docter (Monsters, Inc., Up).

As in his previous feature, Inside Out, we'll get a glimpse into an obscure world we don't often think about. In this case, Soul pulls back the curtain on how our personalities come to be before they're sent off to human bodies.

The story follows Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx), a middle school teacher/aspiring jazz musician in New York City who dies just as he lands his dream job. His soul is then sent to a sort of way station where it meets 22 (Tina Fey), a cynical soul who doesn't care much for life on Earth.

Take a look at the first teaser below:

“It started with my son — he’s 23 now — but the instant he was born, he already had a personality,” Docter said in a statement. “Where did that come from? I thought your personality developed through your interaction with the world. And yet, it was pretty clear that we’re all born with a very unique, specific sense of who we are.”

“I think Joe is having that crisis that all artists have,” added Docter's co-director, Kemp Powers. “He’s increasingly feeling like his lifelong dream of being a jazz musician is not going to pan out and he’s asking himself ‘Why am I here? What am I meant to be doing?’ Joe personifies those questions.”

Here's the first teaser poster, too:

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The film also features the voice talents of Phylicia Rashad, Ahmir Questlove Thompson, and Daveed Diggs. Interestingly, the score is being handled by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (The Social Network, Watchmen).

“The contrast that Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross bring is really exciting. It’s an unexpected choice for Pixar — this is like nothing we’ve ever done before," said producer Dana Murray.

Soul will answer some of life's big questions when it opens in theaters on June 19, 2020.