The landscape of superhero movies has changed quite a bit since Brad Bird’s The Incredibles hit theaters in 2004. That period of 11 years saw the birth of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the entirety of Christopher Nolan Dark Knight trilogy, six of the eight X-Men movies, and the end of two Spider-Man series. That in mind, you might think that plans for The Incredibles 2 would reflect the new climate, but that’s actually not really the case. Instead, Bird has his eyes looking at the bigger picture.
I had the chance to sit down with Brad Bird at a press day for his upcoming film Tomorrowland this past weekend, and it was at the end of our discussion that he discussed his plans for The Incredibles 2 and why it won’t reflect the current state of the superhero genre. Stressing the importance of making a feature that has more of a timeless feel, he explained,
I don’t think that kind of idea stays interesting for very long. You can kind of get a cheap laugh for the moment. I think you want to go longer range than that.
This may seem like an impossible task, given that The Incredibles 2 will surely be compared to the other superhero stories being told on the big screen when its released, but Brad Bird noted that he does have an ace up his sleeve when it comes to being something different. He told me,
For me, the interesting thing was never the superhero part of it. It was more the family dynamic, and how do superhero things play into that. So the movie is a step further in that direction – but I do have a story idea that I think is very intriguing, and not like anything else. So my goal would to still be surprising, which is not easy to do, and maybe I’ll succeed, and maybe I won’t! That’s certainly what I’m going to try.
Sadly, Bird wouldn’t go into detail about exactly what those ideas were, though I did try to eek something out of him. Referencing the mole-like villain who appeared in the final scene of the first Incredibles, I asked the filmmaker if there was a chance that the sequel would include payoff for The Underminer. Unfortunately, the Ratatouille director shut me down, laughing and saying,
I’m not saying a damn thing!
At this time, The Incredibles 2 is currently in development at Pixar, though Disney has not yet announced an official release date for the project. Hopefully this news will break soon – possibly during Disney’s D23 Expo this August. Stay tuned for more updates about the project, and more from my interview with Brad Bird!