After doing Incredibles 2, writer-director Brad Bird says he's not interested in doing sequels to any of his other film hits. Bird is one of those rare directors in the business who has found success in both the animated and live-action film genres. Cutting his teeth as a character layout artist, designer, and director on TV's The Simpsons in the early 1990s, Bird's big breakthrough in film came in 1999 as the writer and director of the animated feature classic The Iron Giant before he found his way into Pixar.
It was at Pixar where Bird flourished writing and directing - and winning Best Animated Feature Oscars - for both 2004's The Incredibles and 2007's Ratatouille. Interestingly, though, Bird moved on to direct live-action shortly thereafter, taking the helm of the Tom Cruise spy-thriller Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol in 2011, which became a worldwide blockbuster hit. However, Bird's luck ran out in 2015 with his second live-action project, Tomorrowland, which wasn't as successful as his previous movies - critically nor commercially - but that hasn't deterred him from live-action movies; he just doesn't want to repeat past stories.
With more hits than misses, Brad Bird has often been pressed about doing sequels, and he's only acquiesced just once with Incredibles 2. And while Bird says he's flattered that people want to see him direct sequels to The Iron Giant, Ratatouille, and Mission: Impossible, he insists in an interview with io9 that he's closed the book on those films. Bird said:
"I’m told I need to remake everything that I’ve made and no one apparently wants anything new anymore. I’m a little at odds with society on that. I would like to do some new things ... I feel like I’ve done my Ratatouille. I’ve done my Mission: Impossible and I’ve done my Iron Giant. And that’s that. I’m not mad about it but it seems like it’s the only thing that people want now is for you to repeat what you just did.”
It's not unusual, of course, for directors to resist doing sequels. Bird's fellow CalArts alum, Tim Burton, has only done one sequel (Batman Returns) in his film career, with the next closest thing being the Beetlejuice follow-up that fans have been pining about for years (at current, there's a new writer working on a screenplay). From a creative standpoint, though, it's respectable that both filmmakers are sticking to their convictions and producing new, original work throughout their careers, in both the animated and live-action realms – work that fans likely would have never seen if they had only committed to doing sequels to their hit films.
In the case of Brad Bird, it's been 14 years since The Incredibles, so it's admirable how he's staved off the sequel for as long as he has to make an impact in other areas of the movie business. But with Incredibles 2 tracking to make more than $140 million domestically in its opening weekend (which would be a Pixar record), the studio may eventually ask him to either make a Ratatouille sequel or work on a brand new animated film.
- Incredibles 2 (2018) release date: Jun 15, 2018