Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014

Disney CEO reveals upcoming Pixar sequels, details on ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’

By Jeff Peterson, For the Deseret News

Published: Thu, March 27 4:30 p.m. MDT

 Twenty Stormtroopers take over the stage during a private Disney event at the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas in 2013.

Twenty Stormtroopers take over the stage during a private Disney event at the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas in 2013.

(Eric Jamison, Invision)

Some big news for Disney fans: In a meeting with shareholders in Portland, Ore., recently, Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger dropped a few unexpected hints about some future film projects, as reported by Variety.

First up, despite recent comments by Pixar head Ed Catmull that the studio will be scaling back the number of sequels it releases in the future (per Collider), Iger announced that work is already under way on yet another sequel to John Lasseter’s “Cars,” as well as “The Incredibles 2.” The latter, in particular, is likely to get people excited, as it’s one of the studio’s most beloved films.

Not many other details were given, but Iger did mention that original “Incredibles” director Brad Bird is developing the story, according to the Variety report. Whether or not he ends up directing is another question, although it seems likely given past statements. In 2011, for example, Bird told Collider’s Adam Chitwood that “(Disney) would like me to do it (‘The Incredibles 2’) … and I’ve told them I’m not really friendly to have someone else take away my child.”

One way or another, though, his involvement in any capacity is a good sign. For years, Bird has talked about the possibility of returning to the Incredibles universe, but has always said it would only happen if the story were up to snuff. In the same 2011 interview with Collider, Bird said, “I would like to think that I have several good ideas that could be incorporated into the 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. … ‘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’ what ‘Toy Story 2’ is to ‘Toy Story,’ I would do it in a second.”

The other big movie-related news from Iger’s meeting concerns J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars sequel, the as-yet-untitled “Episode VII.” Revealing some of the first concrete details about the much-speculated-upon film, Iger told shareholders that it will feature “a trio of new young leads along with some very familiar faces,” according to the Los Angeles Times. He also confirmed the time period, stating that it will take place 30 years after the events of “Return of the Jedi.”

That might not seem like a lot of new information — and considering that filming starts in just two months, it really isn’t — but so far, news from the Abrams/Kathleen Kennedy camp has been scarce regarding “Episode VII.” Even confirmation like this of what many had already suspected is a nice step as we wait for the sequel to finally take shape.

Pixar's next film, "The Good Dinosaur," hits theaters Nov. 25, 2015, and "Star Wars: Episode VII" arrives the next month on Dec. 18, 2015.

Jeff Peterson is a native of Utah Valley and studied humanities and history at Brigham Young University. Along with the Deseret News, he also contributes to the film discussion website The Movie Scrutineer.

1. KayBob
Hill AFB, UT,
March 27, 2014

Wow, do you realize this exact same information was reported by tons of other sources over a week ago? (Incredibles 2 coming out and Star Wars VII having young faces and some familiar faces and taking place 30 years later.)

2. LittleStream
Carson City, NV,
March 28, 2014

Excellent news! My granddaughter and I will be looking forward to all three. We loved Cars and The Incredible's! Looking forward to getting her introduced to Star Wars. My children and I loved all six of the movies.

3. Hutterite
American Fork, UT,
March 28, 2014

It'll be interesting to see if there will be a disneyfied elton john theme song for the next star wars.

4. Let it Go!
Omaha, NE,
March 28, 2014

I am hoping Disney will do a great job at Star Wars. The first three were epic, the second triple stunk(though the music is awesome, thanks to John Williams :D), so let us hope they make this worth it!

5. Mike Johnson
Stafford, VA,
March 29, 2014

I am very much looking forward to the new Star Wars trilogy. The prequel trilogy suffered a bit from the fact that we knew what happened in the end, but not how it got there. Also, we had seen spectacular capabilities from old men and inexperienced Jedi and now we needed to see the Jedi at their prime and it looked a bit silly. As did at least one CGI character.