Many a person was relieved when Pixar president Ed Catmull offered his assurances that the beloved animation studio will, heron out, put renewed emphasis on the task of churning out quality original content - hence the company's next two releases, Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur - rather than just prioritizing sequels and/or spinoffs of its previous hits (see: Cars 2, Monsters University, and so forth).
The plan moving forward - as Catmull described it - will be for Pixar to alternate between new intellectual properties and established franchise installments, on a year-by-year basis. We already knew that the list of upcoming sequels includes Finding Dory (i.e. the followup to Finding Nemo), but we can now officially add The Incredibles 2 to that list.
A sequel to The Incredibles - Brad Bird's Oscar-winning 2004 computer-animated film about a family of superheroes - is something that many a person has been asking for, far more than any other prospective Pixar sequel mentioned to date.
In fact, yours truly can attest: pretty much every single time I've written about an upcoming Pixar movie (no matter what it is), someone inevitably leaves a comment expressing their desire to see the adventures of the middle-aged Mr. Incredible (voiced by Craig T. Nelson), his wife Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), their super-powered children Violet (Sarah Vowell) and Dash (Spencer Fox), and their friendly-neighbor Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson) continue on the big screen.
Well, at long last, it appears that Disney/Pixar is ready to grant the masses of Incredibles die-hard fans their wish. Today, at the annual meeting for the shareholders and D23 members, Disney Chairman and CEO Robert A. Iger confirmed that not only is an Incredibles sequel being actively developed, but that Pixar and the Mouse House also have a third installment in the popular (though the least critically-respected among Pixar's brands) Cars franchise planned and starting to move down the pipeline.
The news about Cars 3 is bound to generate far less excitement than the Incredibles 2 announcement. Fact is, after the comparatively lackluster Cars 2 - which many people still regard as superior to a lot of other kids-oriented entertainment on the market - and multiple less-than-memorable shorts focused around the tow-truck character Mater (Larry the Cable Guy), many a film buff tends to view the Cars franchise as being an easy way to make money for Disney/Pixar - and not much else.
On the other hand, the profitability of the Cars movies has eased pressure on Pixar and Bird to make Incredibles 2 as quickly as possible. Indeed, Bird has said on multiple times over the last decade that he's never stopped brainstorming ideas for an Incredibles sequel, but has simply yet to find a premise that he believes has real potential - seeing how, like everyone else, he wants the sequel to match or improve upon the original film's mix of rousing can-do action, engaging familial drama, and clever social commentary elements.
Hopefully, the reason that Incredibles 2 is now moving forward at a faster pace is because the creative minds over at Pixar have, at last, found a way to start cracking that especially difficult nut. Then again, it is Pixar; at this stage, its track record is still strong enough to ensure that any product the studio releases should have a reasonable amount of thought and care put it into. (Yes, even with something like Cars 3.)
As for Bird's involvement as director on Incredibles 2, that isn't guaranteed yet, even though (as reported by Variety) Iger says Bird is currently working on the screenplay. However, given his healthy working relationship with Disney (Bird is also putting together the sci-fi adventure Tomorrowland for the studio) - combined with his obvious affection for the franchise - there's good reason to believe that Bird could end up calling the shots on this project.
We'll keep you posted on all upcoming Pixar movies - be they The Incredibles 2 or Cars 3 - as more information is made available.