Pixar's recent sequel trend has led to some eyebrow raising from fans (see: the skepticism about Toy Story 4), but one followup just about everyone is excited for is The Incredibles 2. Ever since Brad Bird's heartfelt story about a superhero family hit it big in 2004, moviegoers have been foaming at the mouth for more stories set in that world - especially since the premise seemed to lend itself to a full series of movies.
Just last week, Bird revealed he was beginning to write the screenplay for Incredibles 2, but since the project is so early in development, nobody has any idea as to what he has in mind for the narrative. Based on his latest quotes, however, it would appear that some playful satire of the current state of the superhero movie genre (which has become the thing in Hollywood) will not be in the cards.
While speaking with Little White Lies, Bird stated that he wants the film to stand on its own merits instead of commenting on the several popular comic book adaptations that have hit theaters in recent years:
"Well, I worry if you comment too much on other movies then you might just be coasting off their good will. There was a very lazy trend in comedy where somebody would start singing the theme song from 'The Flintstones' and you're supposed to dig on it just because you recognise it. So I don't like that. I think that movies ought to work in and of themselves."
Bird certainly has a good mindset when it comes to his approach. Though The Incredibles did have some comedic elements (including humorous riffs on superhero tropes), it was, by and large, a family drama about people realizing their place in the world. The film was not an outright spoof like one might see on an episode of Saturday Night Live, so filling The Incredibles 2 with loads of references to the Marvel and DC films would arguably be disingenuous to the franchise. That's not to say Bird won't put any social commentary in the script, it's just not the main focus.
Instead, the filmmaker will be striving to tell a great character story that's on par with what came before. Bird reiterated the old adage that the best way to connect with the audience is to get them invested in the people the film's about:
"I think that the greatest special effect is caring about a character. A lot of movies seem to forget that, and they bring out a lot of fireballs and then wonder why the fireballs don't have that much impact, no matter how loud and how big they are. But the truth is that the fireball isn't that exciting unless you care about the person running from it."
It's safe to say that audiences truly care about Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, and their family based on the overwhelmingly positive response the first film received. By painting superheroes as real people with real, relatable problems, Bird made it easy for viewers to sympathize with the characters and care about what happened to them. Yes, the action (especially the final fight against Syndrome's robot) was fun to watch, but it would have come across as hollow were it not for the rich thematic and character arcs that added substance to the movie.
It's nice to know that Bird isn't simply going to coast on the success of the original Incredibles when crafting the much-anticipated sequel. He obviously loves these characters and wants to do them justice, so viewers feel that the film they've wanted all along was worth the long wait. No matter what Bird comes up with, he's on the right track to delivering something that's as timeless and impactful as what he made more than a decade ago.
We'll keep you updated on The Incredibles 2 as more information becomes available. Meanwhile, Bird's new film Tomorrowland opens in theaters next month on May 22nd, 2015.
Source: Little White Lies
Header image by shadowstheater @ DeviantArt