'Good Dinosaur' Writer Meg LeFauve Talks Penning Pixar Films, Upcoming 'Captain Marvel'

Meg LeFauve - H 2015
Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

"I am just lucky I didn't have to do both at the same time!"

For the first time since the CG animation powerhouse began, Pixar studios has released two feature films in the same calendar year. Inside Out hit theaters this past summer and The Good Dinosaur will be released on Nov. 25.

Even though they tell very different stories — with one film focusing on the personified emotions of an 11-year-old girl and the other following the story of a lost Apatosaurus and his pet human on their journey home — both have a commonality: screenwriter Meg LeFauve.

"I am just lucky I didn't have to do both at the same time!" said LeFauve to The Hollywood Reporter on the carpet for the world premiere of The Good Dinosaur, which took place at the El Capitan theater in Hollywood on Tuesday night.

LeFauve was not initially involved in the prehistoric Pixar project, but was brought on when she was wrapping up work on Inside Out by Pixar and Walt Disney Animations' chief creative officer, John Lasseter.

She explains, "John asked me to come over to Good Dinosaur and meet the team and just see if it clicked, and it did."

"It's so much the director's medium and it's so much his vision that there is really the pressure is to articulate that," said the writer, who worked with Up director Pete Docter on Inside Out and first-time director Pete Sohn for Good Dinosaur.

"They are similar in that they have these incredible imaginations and minds, so they really have a vision," explained LeFauve when asked how it was working with the two Petes. "When I came in, [Docter] was later in the process so he absolutely knew what he needed where. Whereas with Pete Sohn, we did a lot more exploration and it was a lot more 'let's try.' "

Bob Peterson, who came up with the idea for the animation, left the project, which lead to the film's yearlong delay and Sohn taking over in the director's chair. The release of Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur marks the first time the studio has put out back-to-back original stories since Wall-E and Up hit theaters in 2008 and 2009.

When asked what it was like to make the leap from emotions to dinosaurs, LeFauve answered: "They are very different stories. Inside Out is so many characters and two different worlds and lands within lands, and [The Good Dinosaur] was a very specific, simple story told about two characters."
LeFauve will soon be making another jump, this time from animation to live action, with Captain Marvel, the first stand-alone Marvel film to focus on a female superhero. She is set to co-write the screenplay with Guardians of the Galaxy's Nicole Perlman.

"We're just starting. We have just started researching and spit balling," said LeFauve of where she and Perlman are in the writing process, adding, "Nicole and I have decided that we're going to have a good time."   

After being asked what she will take from her time at Pixar to her work on Captain Marvel, LeFauve said: "I think animation has the ability to have a world, and it can be a big world, but in that big world there will be a very human, personal story. I think that applies to a lot of bigger studio movies, as well."