WARNING: Mild spoilers for Incredibles 2.
What can you expect from Incredibles 3 - and what do we want to see in a Pixar threequel? 14 years after the original, Incredibles 2 has finally been unleashed, and while whether it was worth that near-decade-and-a-half wait varies depending on the audience member, there's one thing fans can agree on: they want an Incredibles 3.
The Incredibles is probably Pixar's most tailor-made franchise. Toy Story may have become a beloved trilogy (with the fourth entry due next year) and Cars a merchandising behemoth (while Monsters, Inc. and Finding Nemo both got follow-ups), but by the nature of being based on serialized comic book heroes - characters who now power cinema's biggest shared universes - they feel ripe for more adventures. That's why Incredibles 2 was so anticipated, and given how that movie ends with a rather open status quo, there's going to be similar expectations for a third.
Related: Read Our Incredibles 2 Review
But we're talking about the notoriously long production process of animation and a company who endeavor to put story first, cancelling projects that don't meet their high expectations. With that in mind, what can we expect from Incredibles 3 and when could we actually get to see it?
- This Page: What Should Incredibles 3 Be About?
- Page 2: Will Incredibles 3 Actually Happen (And When)?
What Incredibles 2 Sets Up For Incredibles 3
While The Incredibles had a major sequel tease, Incredibles 2 ends on a much more resolute note, albeit one that definitely allows more adventures in the future.
The first sequel takes the thread of illegal superheroes forced into hiding and flips it, with the main plot dealing with an attempt to re-legitimize the Supers. This is the central debate of Incredibles 2 - not quite "should there be a Superman?", but definitely a real-world application - and in the end the film has the costumed vigilantes legalized, their benefit to society finally understood by the world at large. That may remove a key constant backdrop to Incredibles that allowed it to push in on the family but it does set up a fresh and open status quo for any potential sequels.
At the end, the Parr family is back together, fighting villains as The Incredibles in the open. It's not overt setup, but this is nevertheless a blank slate for the franchise that allows for a different Incredibles 3 with less-restricted characters.
What We Want In Incredibles 3
The sum of Incredibles 2 is its own story, with few unresolved plot points that directly set up the third movie. But, of course, given that The Incredibles' sequel-tease ending - the Underminer making his moves against the surface world - was dispatched in the movie's opening, anything overt needn't be expected to be the plot of Incredibles 3.
With that in mind, it's worth looking at ideas, themes and, yes, shortcomings that a threequel can address. What Incredibles 3 needs most is a time jump. Getting to jump right into the Parr action makes getting Incredibles 2 going easier, but it also limits what the story's able to do; Dash and Violet written as adolescents is easy to pick up, but that in turn means their arcs have limited room to grow. Taking the characters forward, even by just a few years, would go some way to introduce natural development that a new narrative can then jump off: one of the kids leaving home and having to find their own way feels like the natural progression for a series about family.
On the flipside of what makes The Incredibles is the superheroics. Brad Bird made a conscious decision to avoid much of what's happened in the cinematic genre since the first movie in the sequel, instead having the story hinge on the world he set up 2004. While that avoids Incredibles 2 feeling like it's riding trends (in contrast to the likes of Deadpool), it also means that one of the original's core qualities - that it was essentially a genre deconstruction a la Watchmen - is lost. With no acknowledgment of The Dark Knight Trilogy or the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Incredibles 2 risked feeling out of time. By the time Incredibles 3 rolls around, the genre will be over two decades on from The Incredibles and the variance in tone and shared universes will be too ingrained to not explore.
Page 2 of 2: Will Incredibles 3 Actually Happen (And When)?
- Incredibles 2 (2018) release date: Jun 15, 2018