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“MAKE ALL SUPERS LEGAL AGAIN!”
So cheers Winston Deavor, a PR-savvy entrepreneur who wants to help banned do-gooders restore their good name in Pixar’s 14-year-in-the-making follow-up to its 2004 smash, The Incredibles.
If you’ll recall, in the world of writer-director Brad Bird’s retro metro sequel, superheroes are still illegal, a status imposed upon them when the government and the public grew tired of the increasing cost of the damages inflicted by crime-fighting (um, you’re welcome). Incredibles 2 picks up just moments after the first movie’s climactic finish — in which Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson), their children, and Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson) defeat a giant robot in a very public, very illegal citywide skirmish — and so, come June 15, the only topic hotter than the summer sequel itself is the big, buzzy return of Supers in Municiberg.
“It puts the public’s myth of Supers back on the table,” Bird says of the finale of the first Incredibles, which earned the filmmaker his first Oscar for Best Animated Feature in 2005. He points out that the superpowered Parr family’s high-profile heroics are the inciting incident to a much larger movement: “Often, things percolate underneath in society and you don’t even know that something’s about to bubble up, but it’s sitting there, just waiting for some inciting event. We see that happen in daily life all the time, where people are privately thinking ‘I wish X,’ and then some event happens and that nerve gets pressed, and everyone sort of admits it at once and looks around and goes, ‘You were feeling that way, too?’ This movie presupposes that once the crowds get a little taste of what superheroes were and are, they kind of miss them. That doesn’t mean that everybody misses them… but the populace is starting to question their banning of Supers.”
Enter: Winston Deavor (voiced by Bob Odenkirk) and his sister, Evelyn (voiced by Catherine Keener), two of the most significant and perhaps enigmatic new additions to the Incredibles world. The brother-sister duo run a massive telecommunications company, share a link to superheroes in their past, and believe they have the money, resources, and know-how to change public perception and help legalize Supers once again.
“It’s like when Bill Gates decides that he and his wife want to get rid of malaria,” jokes Bird. “They support that and put their money behind it. And so [to us] it seemed like a good idea to have somebody feel that way about superheroes. They’ve maybe admired superheroes their whole life, and here, they have a chance to help them.”
Every campaign needs a face, and Elastigirl, Mr. Incredible, and Frozone have already outed themselves as the obvious candidates to help reaffirm the public’s faith in superheroes. But ultimately, the Deavors choose photo-friendly, minimal-liability Elastigirl to lead the initial mission — leaving Mr. Incredible behind for, perhaps, the first time in his life.
“It’s hard for him,” admits Nelson, the returning voice behind Bob ‘Mr. Incredible’ Parr. “He feels rejected. He certainly doesn’t feel empowered. He feels that he’s been put into the secondary role and he’s not used to that. In a way, I would think he’s finding a little bit of humiliation. But the great thing about him is that he’s willing to go through that so that the family is taken care of.”
And what of that family? More Incredibles 2 scoop coming your way with the rest of EW’s Summer Movie Preview.