Last year, Pixar President Ed Catmull detailed the studio’s plans to release an original film every year, and a sequel every other, totaling up to three films every two years. Up to this point, we have seen sequels (and a prequel) for the Toy Story, Cars, and Monsters, Inc. franchises, but there has been one franchise, above all others, that has had a loud group of fans begging for a follow up – Brad Bird’s The Incredibles. Today, Disney announced two Pixar sequels that are in development, The Incredibles 2 and Cars 3.
Pixar tweeted the following, supporting Disney CEO Bob Iger’s announcements earlier today:
It’s official: we’re currently working on new films featuring your favorite characters from The Incredibles and Cars! pic.twitter.com/HzdvF0rvpA
— Disney•Pixar (@DisneyPixar) March 18, 2014
At Disney’s annual shareholder’s meeting, held this year in Oregon, Iger revealed that Brad Bird is currently working on the story for a second Incredibles film. For the past few years, Bird has held that he would not be involved with a follow-up if he did not have a great idea. Although the latest Toy Story and Monsters, Inc. films had different directors than the original films in their respective franchises, Pixar seemed to acknowledge that Bird would have to play a major role in the development of another Incredibles film, putting a sequel squarely in the hands of the director. After Ratatouille, Bird shifted to live-action, directing Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and Tomorrowland (due out next year), so his return would also mean a full-time return to Pixar. He is constantly involved in the studio’s Braintrust meetings, but he has obviously been busy with his own projects. Following the completion of Tomorrowland, he should have more time on his plate to work on The Incredibles 2.
Iger also announced that Pixar is developing Cars 3, confirming rumors that emerged last year. The property has proven to be lucrative to Disney, from the toys to the incredible Cars Land at Disney California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort. It remains to be seen whether Lasseter will return to the director’s chair for the third film. The Cars films have been close to Lasseter’s heart, but he is busier than ever running creative at both Pixar and Disney Animation. He is also heavily involved with Walt Disney Imagineering and the group’s theme park projects, so he clearly has limited hours in the day. Still, given that the film was just announced, we would not see it released in theaters until closer to the end of the decade, at the earliest, which might just be enough time for Lasseter to return.
The rumor about the plot of the third Cars film involved Route 99, as opposed to the Route 66 we saw in the first two films. You can read more about the story possibility in our post from last year.
It should not be surprising that Pixar is working on sequels, considering Catmull stated the studio would continue releasing them, in addition to original films. The studio is not abandoning original stories, as next year we will see Inside Out from Monsters, Inc. and Up director Pete Docter, and The Good Dinosaur. Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich is also actively working on a film centered around the Mexican holiday of Dia de los Muertos. Sequels provide too much of a return to be blatantly ignored by studios, but the hope is that Pixar can continue to be creative and inspire as much with both its original films and sequels as it has demonstrated with its previous films.
No release dates or further details for The Incredibles 2 and Cars 3 were provided – stay tuned for further details.