Before moving into the live-action blockbuster realm with Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and Tomorrowland, director Brad Bird gave the world the signature Pixar films The Incredibles and Ratatouille. His debut feature, however, was 1999’s The Iron Giant, the Cold War-era story of a young boy who befriends a giant robot from outer space. Released by Warner Bros., the film underperformed at the time but is now considered a classic.
The Iron Giant was developed in the wake of the 1998 Warner Bros. animated film Quest for Camelot, a box office failure with a troubled production, resulting in firings and restructuring. This meant that Bird apparently had no direct executive looking over his shoulder, giving him and his animation team a level of creative freedom almost unheard of on a studio film.
The Iron Giant itself was the first time a computer generated character was incorporated into a traditionally-animated and was voiced by Vin Diesel, who at the time was still two years away from starring in the franchise-launching The Fast and the Furious and was therefore essentially unknown to most audiences. Now, with The Iron Giant re-entering theaters for a limited run of a remastered “Signature Edition,” Diesel shared the following on his Facebook page:
I have been very lucky to have played so many interesting characters… one of the first and one of my favorites is… the Iron Giant.
P.s. Don’t be surprised when you hear WB announce the sequel.
While The Iron Giant did feature an open-ended final scene which set up the potential for a follow-up, the news of a possible sequel is somewhat unexpected and raises a number of questions, with the first and foremost being: would Bird return to direct? Bird is returning to animation to helm the long-awaited Pixar sequel The Incredibles 2, making the prospect of his involvement questionable.
Perhaps because the studio was backing away from animation at the time, The Iron Giant was the victim of a confused marketing campaign, debuting at number 9 at the box office during its opening weekend. The movie received near-universal critical acclaim and its stature has only grown in the years since its release. Would fans of the original be excited for a sequel without Bird’s creative direction?
There is also the possibility that Diesel’s tease does not necessarily reflect any official projects in development, and with the original film being so beloved, is this a sequel we even need? It will depend on just what kind of vision is involved.
Stay tuned for more news on The Iron Giant 2 as it becomes available.
Source: Vin Diesel