It was a pleasant surprise earlier this year when it was announced that Brad Bird was working on sequel to his 2004 hit The Incredibles, after all, it’s the only “Fantastic Four” movie that’s ever worked. Seriously though, it’s remained a Pixar classic, and despite repeated comments made about the desire to crank out a part 2, in almost 11 years it just hasn’t happened. Blame director Bird who moved on to Ratatouille and then flirted with live-action films with mixed success. With fans everywhere eager to see where Bird takes his superheroes next, the filmmaker recently offered an update on the production, why it took him so long to circle back around, and the very different climate of comic book films today.
While talking to Collider about the upcoming re-release of his 1999 cult smash The Iron Giant, the topic of The Incredibles 2 was discussed, and according to Bird, he’s pretty close to finishing an important initial phase of the filmmaking process. “I have the story arc. I’m probably three-quarters through the script, first pass through the script, but we’re already boarding parts of it,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of people that worked on the first one working on it, so we’re all having a good time with it.”
But while Bird’s having a good time, when can audiences expect to be having a good time watching The Incredibles 2? “In terms of the release date, we were originally—[the original] Incredibles was supposed to happen after Cars, and our wheels just happened to click a little earlier so they moved us up,” Bird explained. “Release dates are a little fluid when you’re making films so far in advance. Some films are tougher to come together and tough nuts to crack, and other ones comes together a little more quickly, and so I’m just going to work as fast as I can work well with a relatively small team because I like small teams better until you’ve got everything firmly figured out.”
Speaking of timing, the year that The Incredibles was released there were two comic book movies that were released that calendar year: The Punisher and Spider-Man 2. When compared to next year, for example, there are no less than seven comic book movies in theaters, and it only gets more competitive as we head into 2017. Bird is a well aware though of the more competitive atmosphere his film is about to be born into though.
“[T]here were only two other superhero franchises at the time Incredibles came out,” he said. “One of them was X-Men and the other was Spider-Man, and now there are 400 billion of them and there’s a new superhero movie every two weeks. What you don’t want to do is trot over the same turf in the same way everyone else is. So we’re trying to keep it focused in the area that our film was, which was a little bit more about characters and relationships and stuff like that, and see where that takes us.”
The Incredibles 2 is currently in production. In the meantime, you can check out The Iron Giant: Signature Edition in a theater near you during the week of September 30.