Brad Bird's original may not have been a huge hit but it's grown into a cult movie, so could The Iron Giant 2 still happen? The Iron Giant was based on the children's novel The Iron Man: A Children's Story In Five Nights by Ted Hughes. The book was renamed during its American publication to The Iron Giant to avoid confusion with Marvel Comics' Iron Man. Hughes later wrote a sequel to the book dubbed The Iron Woman.
The Who's Pete Townsend turned the novel in an album with The Iron Man: A Musical and the musician was involved with attempts to turn it into a musical film. Following a few years of development, Brad Bird (Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol) was hired to make his directing debut with an animated version of The Iron Giant, discarding the musical elements. The movie was acclaimed upon release for its beautiful animation and the voice work of the cast, which included Jennifer Aniston and Vin Diesel (The Fate Of The Furious) as the title character.
The Iron Giant is regarded as a classic now despite its underperformance upon release, so is The Iron Giant 2 still possible?
The Iron Giant Bombed Due To Poor Marketing
Brad Bird has stated The Iron Giant ultimately failed because Warner Bros didn't bother to market the movie properly. The failure of their animated adventure Quest For Camelot, featuring the voices of Pierce Brosnan and Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight), apparently made them lose faith in The Iron Giant.
They were subsequently shocked by the film's high test scores, but at that point, it was too late to launch promotional campaigns and tie-ins to advertise it. The studio had also put their focus on marketing Will Smith star vehicle Wild Wild West, which was supposed to a major blockbuster but ended up being another box-office dud.
Brad Bird Has Ruled Out The Iron Giant 2
Brad Bird himself has ruled out The Iron Giant 2 since he feels the original movie already told the story he set out to tell. He's also ruled out returning for a Ratatouille or Mission: Impossible sequel since he doesn't like repeating himself. He did return for Incredibles 2 but that came following an almost 15-year gap. Bird has also cited the financial failure of The Iron Giant as a reason a follow-up probably won't happen.
The Iron Giant Returned In Ready Player One
Steven Spielberg's adaptation of Ready Player One featured countless easter eggs to other pop culture properties, from Alien to The Shining and Last Action Hero. The movie also featured a major role for The Iron Giant himself, who helps Parzival in the final battle. While it's not quite The Iron Giant 2, it was nice to see the character recognized as an icon, and its probably the closest to a big screen sequel fans will get.