8 June, 2016. 17:25
CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | Contact
Finding Dory, the highly anticipated 3D comedy adventure film and sequel to the 2003 classic Finding Nemo, is on pace to give Pixar the biggest opening in its history when it hits theatres on June 17.
The movie is eyeing off a debut of between $115 million and $120 million, and features a who’s who of cameos, the studio has confirmed today.
Bringing back Ellen DeGeneres and Albert Brooks, the two lead voice cast members from the original film, the stories follows Dory, a lovable fish with short-term memory loss, as she tries to reunite with her parents.
However unlike the first film, Pixar say that they have steered from their usual story arch in the sequel, by including the franchise’s first ever human character.
Homegrown Hollywood star, Eric Bana has been confirmed as the voice of murdered Australian scientist, Professor Brendan Thornton (56), who disappeared off the coast of Yeppoon late last year, just days after releasing his independent study into coral bleaching throughout the Great Barrier Reef.
Through his lengthy study of maritime life, Bana’s character is able to “talk fish” and warns Dory, who is accompanied by Nemo and Marlin, to leave the Queensland coastline before they too are murdered by powerful mining magnates.
The three lead characters then make their way towards the “jewel of Morro Bay, California” in a quest to reunite with Dory’s family.
Speaking to Variety Magazine today, Eric Bana says he was hesitant of playing Professor Thornton to begin with, but after actually researched the real time destruction of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, he felt “obligated” to take on the role.
“That and the fact that me little ones love cartoons,” he said.
“But yeah, as for the reef… There’s some pretty dicey shit happening up there. I don’t want to say too much about it on the record… I might end up chained to cinder block and thrown off a boat myself! [laughter]”
An aerial survey of the northern Great Barrier Reef has shown that 95 per cent of the reefs are now severely bleached — far worse than previously suggested by mining scientists.
Pixar executives state that the huge levels of bleaching in the northern thousand-kilometre stretch of the Great Barrier Reef is half the reason that Finding Dory has been set in California, as majority of the ecosystems that existed during the filming of Finding Nemo in 2003 no longer exist.
Despite several injuctions placed by major Australian mining and shipping companies, and the Federal Government, Finding Dory is still set for it’s previously announced July 13th release date.
The studio cannot confirm whether or not it will be released in Australia.