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The Real Reason Incredibles 2 Took So Long To Make

In 2004, Disney and Pixar released "The Incredibles," written and directed by Brad Bird. The film follows married couple Bob (Craig T. Nelson) and Helen Parr (Holly Hunter), superheroes who used to be popular amongst the public but eventually were forced into hiding due to a government mandate when the public grew tired of superheroes. Years later, they're living a quiet life in the suburb with their three kids, two of whom also have powers — Violet (Sarah Vowell) and Dash (Spencer Fox). Eager to get back to his old superhero lifestyle, Bob accidentally gets the family wrapped up in a revenge plot facilitated by his fan-turned-supervillain Buddy Pine, now going by Syndrome (Jason Lee).

"The Incredibles" was a complete success and made over $631 million worldwide in box office sales (via Box Office Mojo). The film also has a 97% Tomatometer score on Rotten Tomatoes, marking it as a critical success as well as a commercial one. Additionally, it won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

With all this in mind, it makes sense that Disney and Pixar would consider a sequel for "The Incredibles." And we did get "Incredibles 2" — but not until 14 years later. So why the long wait?

They were waiting for a good story

Writer-director Brad Bird discussed the long gap between the two "Incredibles" films at a press event for the sequel. According to Bird, the creative team didn't want to make a sequel just for the sake of making a sequel and reeling in more money, as reported by IGN.

"The thing is, many sequels are cash grabs," Bird explained. "There's a saying in the business that I can't stand, where they go, 'if you don't make another one, you're leaving money on the table.' It's like, money on the table is not what makes me get up in the morning; making something that people are gonna enjoy a hundred years from now, that's what gets me up. So if it were a cash grab, we would not have taken fourteen years – it makes no financial sense to wait this long – it's purely [that] we had a story we wanted to tell."

Bird also discussed the ways that the ever-growing superhero film landscape made it more difficult to find a story worth telling. He said, "Not only do you have every superhero under the sun and cross-promoting films and blah blah blah blah blah, but you also have a bunch of television shows ... So it's easy to freak out and go, well, why even try? Everybody's got everything done to death. But I return to, what makes us unique? And it's this idea of a family, and that superheroes have to hide their abilities. And those things are actually unique to us, and there's plenty left to explore."

Luckily, Bird and the rest of the Pixar team decided to keep exploring the world and gave us "Incredibles 2."