Walt Disney Animation Studios released Zootopia earlier in 2016 and the animated film became both a commercial smash hit and critical darling for the Mouse House’s animation studio. The studio also has several promising projects in the pipeline (including this fall’s new release, Moana) and now we have an update on one of them: Wreck-It Ralph 2.

There’s been talk here and there over the past few years about a Wreck-It Ralph sequel from key players who worked on the first installment, including Ralph’s voice actor himself, John C. Reilly. However, the in-development movie has now been officially confirmed by Disney – and is set to be co-directed by Wreck-It Ralph helmsman Rich Moore (who also co-directed Zootopia) and Phil Johnston (who co-wrote Wreck-It Ralph and Zootopia).

Disney has set a March 9th, 2018 theatrical release date for Wreck-It Ralph 2, with Reilly returning to voice the eponymous good-natured (if occasionally hot-tempered) video game “bad guy”. That March 2018 date was previously reserved for Disney Animation’s musical Jack and the Beanstalk re-imagining, Gigantic, but that film is now set for arrival in theaters instead on November 21st, 2018 – a date not currently being claimed by any other films, as far as their opening days are concerned.

Here is a statement from Moore about the premise for Wreck-It Ralph 2 (in short: Ralph goes viral!), followed by official concept art for the sequel:

“From the moment we started working on the first ‘Wreck-It Ralph,’ we knew there were so many possibilities with these characters. This time, Ralph’s wrecking wreaks havoc on the Web—as only he can do. Characters we loved in the first film are back and we are ecstatic to be working with them—and the actors who voice them—once again.”

 Wreck It Ralph 2 Gets Official 2018 Release Date

Also confirmed to return is Sarah Silverman as the voice of the “glitch” (but secret video game princess) Vanellope von Schweetz. Johnston, in his own statement about Wreck-It Ralph 2, teased “The world of the internet is the perfect place to send Ralph and Vanellope. The scope and scale are so vast and the possibilities for comedy are endless.” Last, but not least, Reilly made a statement of his own about the sequel:

“Ralph is a character very near and dear to my heart. I’m really looking forward to playing the big lug again. Making the first ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ was one of the most special experiences I’ve ever had and I’m really looking forward to bringing him back to life. So many kids I’ve met all over the world are excited to see him again, too. They tell me all the time!”

The first Wreck-It Ralph hit theaters in 2012 and is part of the wave of recent Disney Animation film releases – along with such films as Tangled, Frozen, Big Hero 6, and Zootopia – that has resulted in Disney Animation Studios being regarded on near-equal footing with Pixar Animation nowadays, as far as their critical standing is concerned. While the studio will continue to churn out original movies in the foreseeable future (including, both Moana and Gigantic), it will also be expanding its established intellectual properties – between the Wreck-It Ralph sequel, Frozen 2 being in active development, and the Big Hero 6 TV series being scheduled to debut on Disney XD in 2017.

NEXT: Kristen Bell Offers Frozen 2 Production Update

Wreck-It Ralph 2 opens in U.S. theaters on March 9th, 2018. Gigantic arrives in U.S. theaters on November 21st, 2018.

Source: Walt Disney Animation Studios

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