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It was an adorable moment at the Academy Awards. While accepting the Oscar for Best Song on behalf of their collaboration Let It Go, songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez sang, "Happy Oscars to you. Let’s do Frozen 2!"
I mean, that’s a no brainer, right? Calling Frozen a hit is the understatement of the century. Since opening nearly a year ago, Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee’s film has gone on to become the highest-grossing animated film OF ALL TIME (with $1.274 billion in worldwide grosses). It’s currently the fifth-highest grossing movie ever (on the global charts), and sits behind two James Cameron movies and one Marvel movie -- The Avengers -- that is the continuation of a larger Cinematic Universe.
Frozen 2 seems inevitable. It’s just not official. We reached out to Disney, who had no official comment on the state of Frozen 2. But the writing’s clearly on the wall. In a conversation with Pop Sugar, Buck and Lee – around the time of the Academy Awards – addressed the idea of Frozen 2 directly, saying, "I think the characters are very rich, [and] I think there are other stories left to tell."
One of those stories will be told in Frozen Fever, a Disney short film that Variety reports is arriving in Spring 2015. Most of the original team will be back in the Frozen fold for this one-off. Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck are scheduled to direct the short, while Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez are expected to pen an original song. EW reports that the short story "will take place on Anna’s birthday as Kristoff the reindeer-preferring ice-gatherer and the mystical, chill-inducing Elsa try to stage a royal celebration. Although Elsa’s icy powers are no longer a secret in the kingdom, her control of them is still a bit iffy."
Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger recently opened up about extending the Frozen universe, saying that he thought the movie had "real franchise potential" when speaking to investors on an earnings call (via Variety). Iger said:
"There’s a lot of active development. You will see Frozen in more places than you see today. … This has real franchise potential. We expect to see not just new product but continued interest in this and continued impact on the bottom line for quite awhile. Its success speaks volumes on the future of animation at our company."
One of those extensions is the planned stage adaptation. Video games have been announced, and the original film continues to be a social media smash.
Despite this popularity Disney hasn’t revealed concrete plans for a sequel just yet. That hasn't stopped fans from creating wish-list trailers for the unavailable sequel.
Nice title art. The music's a little overbearing. The bigger question might not be "if" Frozen 2 happens, but "how?" There have been only three direct sequels to Disney animated features that have played theatrically. The studio tends to favor direct-to-DVD sequels of everything from Peter Pan to The Jungle Book. Could Frozen 2 go that route? Possible. Either way, we can basically bank on Frozen 2 happening. As Forbes writes, "Disney foregoing another round in Arendelle is basically tantamount to passing up free money in the hundreds-of-millions. That they haven’t out-and-out committed and may leave it without a sequel shows something vaguely resembling artistic integrity as a matter of company policy."
And if the co-directors have their way, Frozen 2 will star Benedict Cumberbatch, Jamie Foxx and Dame Judi Dench… at least, according to an interview recently with SheKnows.
What do you think? Will Frozen 2 happen? On paper, it seems guaranteed. But nothing official has been signed on the dotted line yet. We’ll continue to track. Let us know if you think Anna and Elsa deserve another adventure in Arendelle.