Ten years have passed since the release of the Disney•Pixar favorite The Incredibles, and fans have clamored for a second entry in the superhero brand. Finally, and quite surprisingly, Disney CEO Bob Iger casually announced at the Disney 2014 Board of Shareholders meeting that a sequel is indeed in the works.
Little is known about The Incredibles 2 this early in the game, so what should we expect? More importantly, what do we want?
Brad Bird, who is currently directing Disney’s major sci-fi release Tomorrowland, will be serving as writer for The Incredibles sequel. Whether or not the man who commanded the vision behind the 2004 hit film will direct this movie remains in question, as Pixar has been relying on many of its up-and-coming minds to direct newer films. Consider how Dan Scanlon and Lee Unkrich have become household names – well, in homes where huge Pixar fans exist – through directing Monsters University and Toy Story 3, respectively. These two guys took established properties, once under the hands of respected Pete Docter and John Lasseter, and brought new life into the franchises. Could someone do the same work on this Incredibles sequel, or will Bird take reins of the project as its director?
At this point in the process we can only speculate who will direct, but at the very least, we should have confidence that Bird will serve as a writer. The sharp man, responsible for directing both The Incredibles and Ratatouille for Pixar, is now considered a heavyweight in Hollywood. He found much success with those two films, along with Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol. His humorous and compelling storytelling, certainly demonstrated in these clips from the Disney•Pixar YouTube page, are telling in his ability to craft both entertaining and empathetic characters. Bird has expressed interest in interviews over recent years in creating a sequel, but only if he could develop the right story for these characters. Now that brainstorming seems to be taking shape with Iger’s announcement.
My Geeks of Doom colleague Michael Lee shared the news with readers right after the March 18 announcement. Since Iger’s statement the Internet has erupted with additional speculation, only complemented by fans’ continued fervor in imagining potential next adventures for Mr. Incredible and the gang. Will Frozone join in on the fun? Samuel L. Jackson hopes so, as a March 26 interview with Digital Spy indicates his discussions with Bird have suggested Frozone should be a part of the story.
As for the rest of the voice cast, we can cross our fingers that all of the main voice actors will return in another installment of The Incredibles. Considering Pixar’s strong track record in bringing back its stars, I doubt we would have to fear re-casting characters. Even in Pixar’s smaller efforts, such as the Toy Story Toons, everyone from Tom Hanks to Joan Cusack came back for these brief appearances. Craig T. Nelson and Holly Hunter provided strong vocal performances as Bob Parr (Mr. Incredible) and Helen Parr (Elastigirl), and I strongly believe they would reprise their roles.
News came out several weeks ago that The Incredibles would be released in 3D. Disney ended the 3D re-release trend with Monsters, Inc. coming back to the big screen in 3D prior to Monsters University debuting. But few people came. I would bet the 3D release of The Incredibles, assuming it would premiere in theaters – as opposed to the 3D release of Cars on Blu-ray – would draw moviegoers for two main reasons. The Incredibles, as a property, would probably generate more interest than Monsters, unfortunately often regarded lower in how individuals rank Pixar films. Furthermore, the appeal of catching this action film in an additional dimension would draw audiences. Interestingly, a 3D release of Ratatouille is also likely to arrive sometime in the coming years, but I wonder how well that would perform.
The main question on all of our minds, though, is when. What date should we mark our calendars for in finally viewing this highly anticipated sequel? I would guess any of the release dates in which Pixar films are currently slotted for would prove likely. As of April 3, 2014, Pixar has three openings: June 16, 2017; November 22, 2017; and June 15, 2018. A summer premiere would be a safer bet for Pixar, as they can reserve the holiday date to a newer property. Mind you, in this entire edition, I have yet to mention the also-announced third Cars film. By all means this movie may precede the premiere of The Incredibles 2.
The Incredibles buff I am, I am in favor of an attraction themed to the film to hit Disney parks. You would almost guess that the action elements and mysterious environments of the film would beckon a ride, but in ten years, that has yet to come to fruition. The release of the next Incredibles movie only asks for a park tie-in attraction. Of all the Pixar movies that opened from Toy Story to Ratatouille, only The Incredibles lacks an attraction (a Ratatouille ride will debut soon at the Walt Disney Studios Paris park). A 3D Incredibles film in Disneyland’s Tomorrowland, replacing Captain EO, would prove practical and relatively cost-efficient. The theme works, and so does the placement. Who would like to start a campaign for that idea?
Disney and Pixar possess countless opportunities to integrate The Incredibles into established properties across the Mouse House. For instance, Mr. Incredible could make a cameo on one of the Marvel series on Disney XD. The Nelson-voiced character could even pop into ESPN’s Sports Center as a guest commentator. Disney could form a new toy line of products catered to this generation of children. Dash, the character with super speed, could serve as the icon of the Run Disney races held at the parks. These seem feasible, right? All of these little measures could be gradually introduced in various arenas across Disney, leading up to the release of The Incredibles sequel.
Let the anticipation for the sequel begin!
What are some your ideas for ways in which Disney can brand characters from The Incredibles? What are you most excited about seeing in The Incredibles 2 film? Share your thoughts!
This is Brett Nachman, signing off. Follow me on Twitter for alerts of new editions of Disney In Depth, Thursdays on Geeks of Doom!