It’s hard to believe that The Incredibles is over a decade old – a fact that has only really become prominent since Disney/Pixar announced that a sequel to the immensely popular superhero film was officially in the works.
A film that preceded Iron Man and the Marvel Cinematic Universe by four years, The Incredibles was Brad Bird‘s rousing call for the love that we can all feel for cinematic supers, as well as their potential versatility as a genre. So you can’t blame people for nearly leaping out of their Mr Incredible pyjamas we they found out Bird would be returning to pen the sequel script. Hopefully this won’t lead people to overlook Tomorrowland, Bird’s latest project, which looks to have all the originality and balls out creativity of The Incredibles and more to spare.
But that’s not the only problem Bird faces: with the gushing river of superhero films quickly readying to burst it’s banks and flood the industry, Bird must face a monster that he in part helped to create. How will the new landscape influence a franchise that’s as much about the modern family as it is about superheroes kicking ass? Fortunately Bird is ready for the challenge, according to a conversation he had with IGN recently, courtesy of Screenrant:
A lot of superhero films have been made since Incredibles and it is kind of like an athletic field that’s just kind of dried up dirt now, with a few clumps of grass. And I think what the challenge is how do you step outside of that and say, ‘Hey, there’s another place for our heroes to go.’ So that’s kind of the challenge. People make a lot of following some of road map and Damon and I can tell you from making this film that you’re just bumping into furniture. Hopefully if you’re on the right path you don’t actually know where you’re going completely. I love those characters in ‘Incredibles’, but I’m also a moviegoer and I want to be surprised by movies. I want them to zig when they should be zagging. That’s the goal with that one.”
Well it’s comforting to see that Bird has game plan, not to mention one that doesn’t require him to throw his hat into a ring filled with Iron helmets and webbed masks. At the centre of Bird’s intentions is a desire to be surprised by what happens to the power toting Parr family, which can only be good news.
One of the main strengths of The Incredibles is that it was never a straight superhero film, and that ability to skirt the traditional recipe has the potential to lead to another great animated film. And it’s not as though we don’t have current data to support this. Big Hero 6 was an unbridled success, and despite being a Marvel adaptation it still had that tang of family-turned-heroes sweetness.
It’ll be a long time before we see a hint of animated red spandex that doesn’t belong to Spiderman, but I’m happy to leave it in Brad Bird’s more than capable hands. In the meantime, Tomorrowland is out May 22. What would you like to see in an Incredibles sequel?