Brad Bird's next film, Tomorrowland, comes out on May 22, but fans of the filmmaker are starting to look ahead to his upcoming directorial project: The Incredibles 2. Ever since Disney/Pixar announced that a sequel to their beloved superhero classic was in the works, moviegoers everywhere have been celebrating the news and speculating about what will happen - even though Bird has only just begun to write the script. But when you take into account that viewers have waited over a decade for this film, the anticipation is justifiable.
Bird is well aware of the hype surrounding The Incredibles 2 and understands that in order for the follow-up to be a worthwhile successor to the original, he needs to deliver in the story and character department like he did in 2004. Not only that, he needs to create something that stands out from the crowd and differentiates from the bevy of superhero projects that are flooding theaters in the next handful of years. Even for someone as talented as Bird, it's a tough challenge to deal with.
While speaking with IGN to promote Tomorrowland, Bird touched on how the Hollywood landscape has changed since the first one came out and the difficulties that presents as he begins to piece together the sequel's story.
A lot of superhero films have been made since 'Incredibles' and it is kind of like an athletic field that's just kind of dried up dirt now, with a few clumps of grass. And I think what the challenge is how do you step outside of that and say, 'Hey, there's another place for our heroes to go.' So that's kind of the challenge. People make a lot of following some of road map and Damon and I can tell you from making this film that you're just bumping into furniture. Hopefully if you're on the right path you don't actually know where you're going completely. I love those characters in 'Incredibles', but I'm also a moviegoer and I want to be surprised by movies. I want them to zig when they should be zagging. That's the goal with that one."
When viewers first met The Incredibles, superhero movies were arguably still in their infancy in terms of commercially viable endeavors. Marvel Studios was still four years away from putting out the first Iron Man film (launching their shared universe), and Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins still hadn't come out yet. Obviously, a lot has changed since 2004, and a new superhero movie seemingly comes out every other month. The Incredibles is a brand that has a lot of love and loyalty, but even Bob Parr and family need to know when to zig so things can stay fresh and interesting.
Since the beginning of this process, Bird hasn't lost sight of the fact that it's important to focus on making another memorable character-driven story for Incredibles 2. That's one of the reasons it took him so long to sign on for a part two, and the primary reason why he's going to avoid the low-hanging fruit and not turn the movie into a satire on the increasing popularity of costumed warriors in the new millennium. It's nice to know that Bird himself wants to be surprised about where Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, and the others go in this new narrative, as he seems to be pushing himself creatively to craft something that's unique. We wouldn't have it any other way.
As exciting as it is that Incredibles 2 is becoming a reality, fans still have a long ways to wait for the project to actually reach the big screen. Disney hasn't announced a release date yet, and as Bird is still penning the screenplay, it will probably be a couple of years before we see what he has in store. Nevertheless, audiences can take solace in the fact that Bird isn't resting on his laurels and is dedicated to making yet another film that's special for many reasons. At this point, that's all we can ask for.
We'll keep you updated on the progress of The Incredibles 2 as more information becomes available.
Header image by dichiara @ DeviantArt