It’s been 14 years since Incredibles hit the big screen.
Let that sink in.
A lot has happened in fourteen years, but one thing is certain: the Parr family will always be incredible no matter how much I age.
Funny enough, they don’t age at all! The sequel picks up right where the original left off.
During the Incredibles 2 press trip, I had the opportunity to attend an exclusive interview with Incredibles 2 Director Brad Bird.
Did you know he is also the voice of Edna?
What took Incredibles 2 so long to make?
Brad Bird breaks it down in a way that makes perfect sense:
“I think there’s a tendency nowadays to not even get the soda pop. You just want direct syrup. For me it was not intentional. I don’t think it’s the greatest idea creatively to follow-up, a successful film with its sequel. I think that you wanna take time. You want to think about it and enjoy the process. I was always thinking about it in the back of my mind, but I had other things that were more at the forefront.
The more I chewed on it, the more I thought, that’ll be cool. And then suddenly it was like 14 years later or something and I went, holy crap, I better get going on something. It’s not intentional and calculated in any way. It probably would’ve been smarter if it were a cash grab to do it a lot sooner. I was mulling on it and it finally seemed like the right thing to do. I didn’t want to wait any longer because it was clearly too long.”
How easy was it for you to get back into the characters?
Without pausing, Incredibles 2 Director replies, “Easy as pie. It’s actually strangely personal to me. It has a lot of the things that I loved at the age of ten, which a lot of ‘em I still love — I hate to admit — and combined with the family that I grew up with and the family that I have with my wife and sons. It’s all the stuff I love combined with both families that I’ve had in my life. Even though it seems brightly colored and pop confection, it’s really personal to me.
I like those characters and they’re comfortable to me. I have fun hearing them talk. What’s fun after you’ve made the first one is that you have your ideal voice cast. When you write, you’re actually imagining Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sam Jackson, Sarah Vowell’s voices. It’s even easier to write, in terms of dialogue. In terms of story, it’s not easy at all.”
You had a few years to think about the Incredibles 2 story. Was there an idea that changed dramatically throughout time?
“The central idea, which was a role switch between Bob and Helen, and the fact that the family didn’t know of the baby’s powers dates back to the first film’s release.” explains Bird.
“What changed all the time was the sort of superhero plot. And that changed radically. Because we had less time to do our film, you couldn’t take any time. If something didn’t pay off immediately, you had to abandon it, because the release date was looming. You would find stuff that, oh, this works. Go! This doesn’t work. Kill and it was this sort of binary process. And so, that was tough. The sort of superhero plot changed a lot. But the core idea of Helen getting the mission and Bob staying at home and them having to cope with the baby’s powers, that’s my oldest idea for this film.”
Do you have a favorite Incredibles 2 scene or character?
I loved Brad Bird’s answer. How hard is it to pick a favorite? That is like admitting you have a favorite child! You simply can’t!
But his reply is simple enough, “I don’t!”
Then, Bird decides to elaborate:
“At any given moment I can love any part of the movie. It’s all stuff that I love. I enjoy putting Helen through action scenes just because her power’s uniquely suited to a certain approach to action scenes. I loved dealing with Bob kinda having his self-esteem undercut a little bit by not being the first choice, which he’s never dealt with in his life before. And that just made me giggle while I was writing it. There is a part of men that always assumes that we’re the best ones for the job and there’s something funny about that. There’s something — it’s fun to poke a hole in that. And, you know, it’s like men hate not — asking directions. And it’s just a thing. It’s a primal thing that goes back to the beginning of time. And we’re deathly afraid of looking like we don’t know what we’re doing.
I loved writing Violet, because she’s the permanent, cynical teenager who’s always looking for the power structure to be upended. I love chase scenes with Dash and I like stuff with Frozone. He’s just a funny, very particular voice. And knowing that Sam’s gonna say something gives you an automatic shot of energy because you know that no one can do that better than Sam.
For me, the whole thing is a delight. The most fun I ever had! I’ve only made six movies, and the most fun I’ve ever made making a movie was the first Incredibles. And so, to be able to return to this world was really fun for me.”
More Incredibles Fun ahead
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