Brad Bird Hopes He'll Never Have To Explain How The Incredibles Got Their Powers

The superhero origin story tends to be a pretty important step on a character's journey. Spider-Man gets bit by a radioactive spider. Daredevil takes a blast of radioactive materials to the face, causing his blindness -- but amplifying his senses. And Bruce Wayne loses his parents, then adopts the symbol of the bats that terrify him. The Incredibles, though, don't have a traditional origin story. When we meet Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) and the rest of the Parr family in the 2004 film, they already have their abilities. So when CinemaBlend traveled to Pixar's campus for an exclusive conversation with Incredibles 2 helmer Brad Bird, we asked him how the "Supers" in this franchise get their powers, and he admitted:

I don't know. You may have just created Incredibles 3. I mean, it doesn't really matter to me, you know. The sort of 'classic Marvel thing,' somebody spills a test tube or something and then somebody's got a superpower. I don't know. I think that in my mind, it's a little more natural than that. If we have a baby with superpowers, that means they can be born, I guess. So, it's probably not the toxic spill thing. Although, I wouldn't say that every superhero in this universe is naturally created. Maybe there are some toxic spills in there. I don't know. Hopefully I won't ever have to explain it.

The question seemed to catch Brad Bird off guard, as if he hadn't ever contemplated how his incredible characters acquired their incredible powers. In fact, in a different part of our conversation, Bird confirmed that the powers aren't really all that important to him, and that The Incredibles and its pending sequel, Incredibles 2, was always more focused on family than it was on superheroes. The comic-book nature of the Parr clan just gave Bird and his team of genius animators an avenue into exploring the difficulties of a family dynamic, and it doesn't sound like that emphasis is going to change heading into Incredibles 2.

Still, we have reported that there will be more superheroes on display in Incredibles 2 than just the Parr family and Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson). Our visit to Pixar on behalf of Incredibles 2 unearthed the existence of The Wannabes, super-powered beings who have been in hiding for years because of the government oversight that has made heroes illegal. This is still an issue when Brad Bird's Incredibles 2 opens, but because of the emergence of Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) as a triumphant, heroic figure, these characters leave the shadows and try to re-establish themselves into the world.

But according to Brad Bird, we probably won't learn that much about their origin stories either... though I think, for a few minutes, we had him thinking about it.

Incredibles 2 opens in theaters on June 15. It brings the Parr family back into the spotlight, and introduces a few new antagonists. Have you grabbed your tickets yet?

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.