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WIRE Buzz: Pixar's Soul heading to Cannes; Ridley Scott talks Alien; The Walking Dead ratings

By Josh Weiss
Pixar Soul

Pixar's Soul has landed on the roster of films to premiere under the banner of this year's Cannes Film Festival, Variety confirmed today. Scheduled to take place last month, the prestigious event was canceled as a result of the global pandemic. Thanks to partnerships with other festivals all over the world, however, Cannes is still going to be able to celebrate its selection of 2020 cinema.

Directed and co-written by Inside Out's Pete Docter, Soul is an existential exploration of what it means to be human. The story follows Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx), a jazz musician who accidentally falls into a sewer just after receiving the career breakthrough he's been waiting for. Due to a cosmic mix-up, his spirit is thrust into The Great Before, a plane of existence where souls are given their unique personalities before being sent to bodies on Earth. Working with a jaded soul named 22 (Tina Fey), Joe works to get back to his own body before his essence is sent to The Great Beyond.

Pixar Soul

Questlove, Phylicia Rashad, Angela Bassett, Richard Ayoade, and Pixar good luck charm John Ratzenberger also lend their voices to the metaphysical project, which hits theaters November 20.

Pixar, Docter, and Cannes have a historic history together. In 2009, Up opened the festival (out of competition), the first animated project ever to do so. Several other animated flicks have also set major milestones at Cannes. For example, 2001's Shrek was the first animated feature to compete there since Disney's 1953 adaptation of Peter Pan.

Shrek 2, Kung Fu Panda, and Over the Hedge screened at Cannes over the years as well.

After the somewhat tepid reaction to Alien: Covenant, it may be unlikely that Ridley Scott will ever get to finish his Prometheus trilogy. That being said, the legendary director hasn't totally given up on the sci-fi franchise, recently telling the Los Angeles Times: "I still think there's a lot of mileage in Alien."

"I think you'll have to now re-evolve,” he added rather cryptically. "What I always thought when I was making it, the first one, [was] 'Why would a creature like this be made and why was it traveling in what I always thought was a kind of war-craft, which was carrying a cargo of these eggs. What was the purpose of the vehicle and what was the purpose of the eggs?' That's the thing to question — who, why, and for what purpose is the next idea, I think."

A trilogy capper (titled Alien: Awakening) was planned and would have seen nefarious android David (Michael Fassbender) pursued by angry Engineers all the way to LV-426. The ending of that film, which had a script penned by Penny Dreadful's John Logan, would have presumably set the stage for 1979's Alien, which first introduced the world to the chest-bursting xenomorph species.

Alien Chestburster scene

And speaking of the iconic chestburster scene, Scott recalled the moment he knew they'd successfully pulled off the gruesome effect of tearing open Kane's rib cage (practically brought to life by having the late John Hurt pop his head up through a table topped with a fake body).

"I remember Stanley Kubrick called me up saying, 'How'd you do that?' He said, 'I've run it through slowly, I can't see the cut.' And I just said that much. He said, 'OK, I got it. I got it, it worked,'" Scott told the L.A. Times.

Scott's next directorial effort is The Last Duel, a 14th-century period drama starring Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Adam Driver, Jodie Comer, and Harriet Walter. Its production is currently on hold.

The Walking Dead's viewership numbers have steadily dropped off over the last few seasons (much like decaying body parts fall of an undead zombie), but AMC's post-apocalyptic drama is still a force to be reckoned with. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the series based on Robert Kirkman's comic of the same name "remains far above all other scripted shows on cable, averaging 5.4 million viewers and a 1.9 rating among adults 18-49 with a week of delayed viewing."

The Walking Dead Season 10 Episode 14

Delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, the Season 10 finale will premiere on AMC later this year as a special televised event. Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who plays the bat-wielding Negan, described it as "a Walking Dead movie in the middle of the season."

Season 6 of Fear the Walking Dead could debut before the summer is out. The second spinoff project, The Walking Dead: World Beyond, will debut in the fourth quarter of 2020.