In an exclusive interview with Movies.com, Brad Bird, director of the upcoming Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, says that there’s a good reason that there hasn’t been a sequel to The Incredibles, the one film among Pixar’s canon that seems most ripe for a follow-up: he hasn’t been working on one. “To say that I’ve had trouble [coming up with a story] is to say that [a sequel] has been my pursuit,” Bird said in a recent interview interview in Los Angeles, Calif. “I haven’t really been pursuing that.”
Suffice it to say that there are plenty of films that fans demand sequels for which their makers aren’t interested in sequelizing. But Bird said that he is indeed interested in making a follow-up, as long as he’s able to author it himself rather than turning it over even to Pixar’s almost impossibly talented Brain Trust of filmmakers. Reassuringly, he said that Pixar wanted exactly the same thing.
“I think the reason it hasn’t [happened] yet is because the studio would like me to do it, if there were another Incredibles,” he explained. “And I’ve told them that I’m not really friendly to have someone else take away my child.” He indicated he had come up with several concepts which he thinks would make for a good sequel, but refuses to rush them into production just for the sake of the film’s moneymaking potential. “I would like to think that I have several good ideas that could be incorporated into a next Incredibles, but I don’t have a whole movie yet, and the last thing I want to do is do it just because it would open big, or something like that.”
With his three previous films, Bird proved himself a dedicated and detail-oriented filmmaker who wouldn’t settle for less than perfection. He said that he’s holding himself to the same standard as he works on Incredibles 2. “I want to do it because I have something that will be as good or better than the original,” he insisted. “Toy Story 2 was, to me, a perfect sequel, because it absolutely respected the first film but found new places to go without selling out its characters. So if I could come up with an idea that is to Incredibles that Toy Story 2 is to Toy Story, I would do it in a second.”
Meanwhile, some of his fans are no doubt wondering whether or not he’ll return to animated filmmaking at all after directing Ghost Protocol, which will instantaneously launch him into the top tier of Hollywood’s most commercial live-action filmmakers. But Bird insisted that he was just as much in love with his former home – both in terms of the medium, and the place where he made his name. “I would love to do another film with Pixar,” he said simply. “I love them.”
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol is being released on December 21, 2011.