Zootopia actor Tommy Lister says Disney is working on developing two sequels to the animated film. Released in 2016, Zootopia went on to become one of the Mouse House's biggest hits of all-time. In addition to grossing $1 billion at the worldwide box office, it received widespread critical praise and took home the Oscar for Best Animated Feature. Critics and audiences were impressed with its sophisticated story and themes, as the movie provided some insightful social commentary on top of being wildly entertaining.
Despite that substantial success, Zootopia remains a standalone entry in Disney's animation canon. With the exception of a Zootopia inspired land coming to Disneyland Shanghai, there haven't even been any official announcements regarding franchise expansion plans. When the movie first premiered, directors Byron Howard and Rich Moore were open to the idea of making sequels and spinoffs, and now it looks like they're finally going to get that chance.
While attending a publicity event at a Dave & Busters restaurant (hat tip Blog Mickey), Lister (who played Finnick, Nick Wilde's partner in crime) revealed Disney has not one, but two sequels coming through the pipeline:
“I can tell you for sure I’m doing another Zootopia with Disney. We're doing three of them. [There were] three Madagascars. We’re gonna replace that. We’re the biggest film that Disney is producing. The last one was $240 million. This one I’m hearing will be $300 million. That’s what they spent on the budget, not the advertising. But the movie made $2.6 billion, with merchandising and the box office.”
It's worth keeping in mind this isn't confirmation straight from Disney, but the notion Zootopia 2 is happening isn't farfetched. As indicated above, the original ranks among Disney Animation's most popular efforts, second only to Frozen in terms of box office gross. And while the studio has remained mum on the matter, fans have every reason to believe Lister's comments are accurate. He isn't just expressing hope he gets to revisit the Zootopia universe; he straight up says he's doing another one "for sure." Actors are typically the last ones to know about their involvement in particular film projects, so Disney may have recently reached out to the Zootopia cast in order to gauge their interest in returning for the next two installments. With Lister letting the cat out of the bag, Disney may have to make Zootopia 2 official sooner rather than later.
Should that come to pass, viewers will want to know when they'll get to see Officer Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde on the big screen again. Disney Animation does have two release dates picked out for untitled films in November of 2020 and 2021, so theoretically Zootopia 2 could premiere in one of those slots. However, animated movies take a good deal of time to complete, meaning those windows may not be feasible for the creative team (depending on how far along they are, of course). It might be more realistic for a Zootopia sequel to debut in 2022 at the earliest. Given how beloved the first film was, Disney will surely want to take their time and ensure a followup matches the high bar.
Source: Blog Mickey