Movie studios have fallen in love with the superhero genre, with two or three films coming out each year. Most of these films are of the live action variety, but “The Incredibles” stands out as the only animated superhero movie that may be as good as the live action ones. Released in 2004, the film became an international box office sensation, making more than $70 million on its opening weekend alone on its way to hauling a total of over $631 million. Since then, people have been asking for a sequel, but it is only now, nearly a decade later, that a sequel seems to be a reality.
When a movie makes over half a billion dollars in ticket sales, the studio responsible for the film will almost assuredly give the green light for a sequel. In the case of “The Incredibles,” however, the studio was Pixar, which has historically been very slow to release sequels. A good example is the recently announced “Finding Dory,” the long-awaited sequel to “Finding Nemo,” which was released all the way back in 2003. Pixar has never been in a hurry to put a film out, because the executives in charge value quality over quantity.
In addition to Pixar’s hesitation to immediately start production on a sequel to “The Incredibles,” director Brad Bird was also reticent about returning to the franchise. After working on several highly touted animated films like “Ratatouille” and “The Iron Giant,” he wanted to give live action films a try. He loved the story he told in “The Incredibles” and was very happy with the finished product, but he also expressed frustration at the length of time it took to complete the film. He began preproduction on the film back in 2000, which means it took four years before the film was released in theaters. That is a big chunk of time, especially when a live action film can be completed in less than a year from preproduction to release.
In the years following “The Incredibles,” Bird directed “Mission: Impossible- Ghost Protocol,” his first non-animated film. It was a huge success and helped make him one of the most sought-after directors in Hollywood. Big movie stars came calling, with George Clooney signing up to work with Bird on the upcoming film “Tomorrowland,” which starts filming in the summer of 2013.
What will Bird do after he finishes the long “Tomorrowland” shoot? He may very well be open to finally putting together “The Incredibles 2.” Even though he had expressed hesitation in the past about possibly revisiting the film, he told a reporter back in October 2011 that he had a change of heart about a sequel, saying that he had some ideas but no real story to go with the ideas. He also cautioned that the sequel would not be made until the story was right and had been approved by Pixar.
Flash forward to May 2013, Bird, already in preproduction on “Tomorrowland,” publicly reiterated that he had been thinking about a sequel and wanted to revisit the characters that he loves. He said he had many ideas, and that “if I can get ’em to click all together, I would probably wanna do that.”
This was like music to the ears of fans who have been waiting so long to see another film starring the Parr family. Of course, it isn’t just up to Bird as to whether a sequel gets made or not. Pixar has to be on board and would likely want to focus on finishing “Finding Dory” first before starting work on a different sequel. One issue is whether or not the actors will be willing to come back for another film. Even if all the actors were willing, another issue is their availability. Craig T. Nelson, who starred as family patriarch Bob Parr, is busy making the NBC drama “Parenthood.” Samuel L. Jackson, who voiced Lucius Best, has a long slate of upcoming films, including sequels to “Captain America” and “The Avengers.”
The good news for fans of the film is that Bird has publicly said he is willing to make the film and has been coming up with ideas. Since he had been unwilling to address these questions for so many years, his public announcement is definitely a step in the right direction. Pixar may not have officially ordered a sequel to “The Incredibles,” but there is a good chance it might in the near future.