Jenny Slate Keeps Working With Her Ex-Husband on Beloved Stop-Motion Character Marcel the Shell Despite 2016 Divorce: ‘We Never Talked About It’

Jenny Slate is one of Hollywood’s most interesting and innovative creative forces. The actor and comedian has appeared in everything from romantic dramas such as Gifted to comedies like Obvious Child. However, Slate is probably best known for her big breakout project: the short film and book series Marcel the Shell with Shoes On. A familiar franchise that has earned Slate critical acclaim, the character of Marcel was created by Slate and her ex-husband, Dean Fleischer-Camp. Slate and Fleischer-Camp would divorce a few years after the franchise rose to popularity — but Jenny Slate is still happily collaborating with her ex-husband, as she revealed in a recent interview.

Jenny Slate and Dean Fleischer-Camp co-created ‘Marcel the Shell with Shoes On’

Jenny Slate and her ex-husband Dean Fleischer-Camp
Jenny Slate and her ex-husband Dean Fleischer-Camp | Donato Sardella/WireImage

In 2010, Jenny Slate and ex-husband Dean Fleischer-Camp collaborated on a stop-motion animated film called Marcel the Shell with Shoes On. The film features a charming anthropomorphic seashell with a single googly eye and a pair of miniature shoes, being interviewed in his home by a documentary filmmaker. Created and filmed on a small scale by Slate and Fleischer-Camp, the film was partially inspired by Slate’s love for ocean creatures.

“I think that the character of Marcel is really beautiful, and I have always thought that shells are like the jewels of the sea,” she revealed in a 2012 interview with Conan O’Brien.

The first short film became a viral hit after it was released, and the creative team eventually released several more short films, which debuted on YouTube. Eventually, studios approached Slate and Fleischer-Camp about making a big production featuring Marcel. As Fleischer-Camp revealed in a 2021 interview, however, they were concerned about maintaining the integrity of Marcel, and of the concept.

IndieWire reports that the filmmaker said, “We fielded a lot of offers and heard people out … I could see it getting out of hand and we could end up making a project that I didn’t relate to because the character has such broad appeal.”

What did Jenny Slate say about working with her ex-husband?

These days, Jenny Slate and her ex-husband are finally working on a feature-length movie about Marcel, the beloved seashell. However, although their project together has flourished, their relationship did not. The two creatives, who were married in 2012, ended up divorcing in 2016.

In spite of the divorce, Slate and Fleischer-Camp love working together. In a recent interview with Marie-Claire, Slate opened up about her working relationship with her ex.

“In some ways, there are challenges that come up when you’re working with someone, and your relationship is … is making a big, big shift. But no … It certainly wasn’t dramatic or fighting or something like that,” Slate explained. “This is both of our favorite piece of work, I think, that we do, and are doing, and have done. So, I think we just wanted to keep our eye on that. We never talked about it, but I feel like both of us understood the doing the work and doing it well.”

Slate also talked about the difficulty of maintaining creative control over the character of Marcel, all while fighting to make the feature-length film that she and Fleischer-Camp both wanted, revealing that it was a long process to get the ball rolling on a feature film.

Slate is now remarried and has a new baby

These days, Jenny Slate has found fulfillment both creatively and on a personal level. She’s hard at work making the new Marcel film and is also a newlywed, having married her husband, filmmaker Ben Shattuck in 2021. The two started dating in 2019, and in February 2021, Slate welcomed her first child with Shattuck, a daughter named Ida.

Although Slate prefers to keep her home life out of the spotlight, fans will be able to see more of Slate’s creative skills at work in the new feature film about Marcel, which has not yet been given a release date.

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