The Underminer survived his destructive battle with the Parr family in The Incredibles 2, but will the supervillain return again for a third movie? To date, there have been 4 live-action Fantastic Four movies; a low-budget, Roger Corman produced adaptation that was never released, the Tim Story-directed movies from 2005 and 2007 respectively and Josh Trank’s infamous 2015 reboot. Sadly, none of these movies lived up to the source material, be it a result of a weak script or heavy studio interference.
Ironically, while Brad Bird’s Incredibles has nothing to do with Marvel’s first family outside of the same basic themes, they did a much better job with the concept. The franchise features a dysfunctional unit of superheroes who struggle just as much with family life as they do with battling supervillains. Bird’s two movies are colorful and brimming with heart and humor, but the director is also skilled with delivering on high-octane action setpieces too.
This can be seen with the opening of The Incredibles 2, which picks up right from the end scene of The Incredibles. Supervillain the Underminer has emerged from under the city in a drill-tipped tank and announces a war on peace and happiness, inspiring the family to get ready for battle. The Incredibles 2 makes this fight the opening sequence, with the family trying to foil his plot to rob a bank and making a big, destructive mess in the process. The Underminer manages to flee in an escape pod and isn’t seen again – though a brief post-credit tease suggests he could return someday.
An alternate version of this battle formed the basis of 2005 video game The Incredibles: Rise Of The Underminer for consoles like the PlayStation 2 and the original Xbox. John Ratzenberger reprised his role for the game, which featured the villain unleashing a much bigger plot than simply robbing a bank and seemingly being killed in the final battle. The events of The Incredible: Rise Of The Underminer were considered canon for a period, especially when it seemed unlikely a direct sequel wouldn't happen, but Brad Bird's The Incredibles 2 wiped it from continuity.
That said, the Underminer's escape and the post-credit scene tease his return for The Incredibles 3 and a possible expanded role. Brad Bird later explained the character escapes simply because bad guys sometimes get away with their evil deeds. It took 14 years for The Incredibles 2 to arrive, and while it wasn’t greeted with quite the same acclaim as the original, it still received solid reviews and was nominated for Best Animated Feature at the 2019 Academy Awards. The sequel was also a huge financial success, but the The Incredibles 3 isn’t necessarily a given.
Brad Bird lost a year of production time on The Incredibles 2 when its release date was swapped with Toy Story 4, leading to storylines and ideas being scrapped due to lack of time. Bird has stated these ideas could form the basis of Incredibles 3, but the director has also stated a desire to move on to new projects. After a period of focusing on sequels like Incredibles 2 and Finding Dory, Pixar is also due to focus on fresh ideas beyond Toy Story 4. If and when Incredibles 3 ever happens, it’s almost assured the Underminer will return; after all, it just wouldn’t be a Pixar movie without a John Ratzenberger cameo.