Jorge R. Gutiérrez is returning to the world of the dead. The filmmaker is officially developing a sequel to The Book of Life, the animated film centered around Dia de los Muertos, EW can confirm.
The Dallas-based animated house ReelFX is on board to produce. No discussions have yet been made with 20th Century Fox or the original voice cast, but the general concept of the story is in place.
“We’re just starting the process of developing,” Chuck Peil, executive vice president of strategic partnerships, tells EW. Peil remarked there is “a much bigger story to tell” and potentially “more worlds to explore.”
The Book of Life premiered in 2014 (EW gave it an A-). Guillermo del Toro produced the Golden Globe-nominated and Annie Award-winning film, which featured the voices of Diego Luna, Zoe Saldana, Channing Tatum, Ron Perlman, Christina Applegate, and Ice Cube. The film followed Manolo (Luna), a kind-hearted musician who’s separated from his love, María (Saldana), when a meddling god sends him to the Land of the Remembered. In the film, the tale was one of many contained within The Book of Life, a tome read to children by a museum tour guide.
After the movie’s release, Gutiérrez whipped together a poster for an imagined The Book of Life 2, solely for the Sequels Art Show, an exhibition featuring posters for potential movie sequels. The film “resonated with so many people, emotionally, viscerally, and the fan base is alive and well,” Peil said.
Variety was the first to report the news of the sequel’s development during the Annecy International Animated Film Festival. When the announcement became public, Gutiérrez clarified over Twitter that The Book of Life 2 and another project, Kung Fu Space Punch!, “would have to happen after I direct something they haven’t announced yet…”