Albert Brooks Keeps Swimming in ‘Finding Nemo 2′

Finding Nemo - Albert Brooks as Marlin

As the golden era of Pixar gives way to the new, even more profitable silver era of golden-era sequels, we can  at least give thanks for the return of the originals’ creative forces. Swimming quickly toward fruition is Finding Nemo 2 — a property that has earned everything from heated anticipation to anguished “Why?”s — making headway with the latest casting announcement: Deadline reports that the 2003 under-the-sea film’s star, Albert Brooks, is returning as the voice of Marlin.

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There’s no word yet on where the sequel will take Brooks’ worrisome clownfish, his free-spirited son Nemo (voiced in the original by Brooks’ Weeds grandson Alexander Gould), or the flighty and forgetful fan favorite Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) — and until we learn the premise, we’re destined to squirm over the degree of schlock that might well be applied to the decade-old characters in the name of the studio’s sequel craze.

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Pixar has delivered follow-up films with varying quality. The Toy Story sequels not only kept up with their groundbreaking first chapter, but built toward a dazzling complete idea that hit you with a vengeance by the time 3‘s credits began to roll. Cars 2, on the other hand, felt only like a money-grabber, riffingly lazily on Cars‘ merchandising opportunity. We’ll have to see how well Monsters University, which seems to be transporting Inc’s good-hearted working stiffs to a crazy college-set brouhaha, works out. And then there’s Nemo — what can follow Pixar’s heartfelt take on the road comedy genre?

And, more importantly, will there be seagulls?

[Photo Credit: Walt Disney]

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Staff editor Michael Arbeiter’s natural state of being can best be described as “mild panic attack.” His earliest memories of growing up in Queens, New York, involve nighttime conversations with a voice from his bedroom wall (the jury’s still out on what that was all about) and a love for classic television that spawned from the very first time he was allowed to watch “The Munsters.” Attending college at SUNY Binghamton, a 20-year-old Michael learned two things: that he could center his future on this love for TV and movies, and that dragons never actually existed — he was kind of late in the game on that one.