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The pop culture landscape has changed a lot in the 14 years since the original Incredibles movie hit theaters. Superheroes are now the most dominant force in the box office and, after 19 Marvel Cinematic Universe movies and counting, the tropes and genre conventions that go hand in hand with capes and cowls have become pretty easy to see coming — so easy, in fact, that some fans are concerned that there might be a certain “superhero fatigue” setting in to the blockbuster bubble.
That, of course, puts Incredibles 2 in a pretty tricky position — how do you follow up a pre-MCU movie in a very post-MCU world?
Well, thankfully writer/director Brad Bird had some ideas entering production, and learned some lessons along the way.
When asked at the Incredibles 2 press junket in Los Angeles on Thursday if there was anything he outright wanted to avoid, Bird joked, “I immediately banned three-point landings,” poking fun at the Marvel standard “superhero landing,” two feet and one fist on the ground (preferably in some sort of impact crater). “I said no! We’re not doing that on this film, we only did it once in the first film, it’s just not cool anymore!”
Bird continued, opening up about his concerns and hesitations in revisiting the property in light of the MCU’s ubiquitous status:
There was a dark moment when all the machinery was kicked into gear and we had been given our release date and I realized two years from that moment, when the movie was going to come out — there’s already too many superhero movies. Are people going to just be sick of this in two years? And I could see it happening like, I arrive on the scene saying, ‘anybody ready for some fresh superheroes?’ and everyone groans. So that was just a dark moment. But then I realized that what excited me about the idea in the first place was not the superheroes. It was about the family dynamic — and people’s roles in different parts of their lives, and how the superheroes as a genre are like a twist of lemon you squeeze on top. It’s not what the movie is about — and then I got excited again. To me, families are a continent of fresh opportunities because they’re so universal.
Disney Pixar’s Incredibles 2 his theaters on June 15 and stars Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Samuel L. Jackson, Sarah Vowell, Bob Odenkirk, Huck Milner, and Catherine Keener.
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