Why The Incredibles 2 Director Wasn’t Worried About Superhero Fatigue

The Incredibles family in the 2018 sequel
(Image credit: (Pixar))

Have you heard? Superhero movies have taken over Hollywood. Last year, any given movie theaters went just about all year with movie showings based on or inspired by a comic book. It was an interesting spot for director Brad Bird to be in when he set out to make the much-asked-for Incredibles 2, which came out in 2018. When Pixar released the original Incredibles in 2004, the only other crime-fighter in tights to make the top ten highest grosses that year was Tobey Maguire's Peter Parker for Spider-Man 2.

In a recent interview, Brad Bird admitted the change in the landscape was “depressing” to him at first. Incredibles 2 would go on to come out the same year as Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, Deadpool 2, Ant-Man and the Wasp and Venom – all of which massive blockbusters. Whew, that’s a ton! But the writer later came to a brighter conclusion about implied “superhero fatigue.” In his words:

I was depressed for maybe an hour, and then I thought, ‘Remember, the thing that enticed you on the first one was not the superhero part.’ Our secret sauce is that we’re not primarily a superhero movie — we’re a movie about a family that happens to be superheroes. And once I stopped thinking of it as a superhero film, I got very excited about it.

That’s right, in a world with a lot of superhero movies out there, the addition of Incredibles 2 was a welcome one. It wasn’t bogged down by the sometimes complication found in the MCU’s massive universe or the grit of Deadpool 2 and Venom. At it’s core, Incredibles 2 is a family comedy about the dynamics and changes that happen within it. Brad Bird’s idea for Elastigirl to lead the missions while Mr. Incredible deals with staying at home was a great new approach too!

Incredibles 2 was a huge success, becoming one of the highest-grossing animated films ever with $1.24 billion at the box office. The movie currently holds at the No. 4 spot for animated movies (if you count Jon Favreau’s The Lion King) and the third biggest movie of 2018. Brad Bird also told The Wrap that Incredibles 2 was faced with a ”hellacious” year off their schedule when it was moved before Toy Story 4 on the release calendar.

Superhero fatigue is certainly something that has been on the minds of many, considering how hard studios are pushing the genre. Disney is pulling back a bit in 2020 with just two MCU releases: Black Widow and The Eternals. Marvel boss Kevin Feige said he’s not worried about audiences growing weary of the studio as long as it keeps taking risks and making unique choices.

Moving forward, Brad Bird has a ton of ideas in the works, and none of them are sequels. He feels Hollywood is “recycling too much food” right now. Disney’s animation studio Pixar is also not planning any more sequels for years following Toy Story 4 as they head back to its roots of originality.

Here’s all the new Disney movies coming in 2020!

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.