The Incredibles 2
Friday 26th October 2018
As The Incredibles adventure came to an edge-of-your-seat finale, Syndrome was foiled-thanks to baby Jack-Jack and an ill-advised cape-and his jet exploded into a fiery ball, destroying the Parr family home. But the family was more bonded than ever; Violet showed off her newfound confidence, and Dash discovered that second place would do just fine. It seemed like a happily-ever-after ending until someone called the Underminer declared "war on peace and happiness".
Nearly a decade and a half later, fans will learn the fate of the Underminer when Incredibles 2 opens in U.S. theaters on June 15. When The Incredibles first burst onto the big screen, Mr. Incredible's super strength and Elastigirl's stretchy flexibility wowed audiences around the globe-the film grossed more than $633 million worldwide, earning an Oscar(r) for best animated film. But according to writer/director Brad Bird, it wasn't the characters' powers-or the villains-that fueled the film's success. "I realised that the super hero aspect of the story didn't interest me nearly as much as the whole family dynamic," he says. "I think that people see themselves in these characters and that's why they fell for them the way they did. 'The Incredibles' and now 'Incredibles 2' are really stories about a family."
Since The Incredibles debuted in 2004, the super hero genre has skyrocketed within the film and television industry with major franchises exploding and new heroes emerging every few months. "The landscape has certainly changed since our last movie," says Bird. "But the idea of our Supers worrying about getting jobs and paying the rent is still compelling. The challenge of juggling everything life throws at you-even if you have super powers-is still relatable."
In Incredibles 2, Helen is called on to lead a campaign to rebuild the Supers' reputation, while Bob navigates the day-to-day heroics of "normal" life at home with Violet, Dash and baby Jack-Jack-whose super powers are about to be discovered by his family. Bird knew for a long time that Helen would step into the spotlight in Incredibles 2 "I wanted this to be Helen's adventure," he says. "And I was intrigued by how Bob would handle that, along with the responsibilities at home."
"Bob isn't a bad dad," says producer Nicole Paradis Grindle. "He's a little overconfident at first. He thinks, 'I'm Mr. Incredible, I've got this.' But I think any parent can relate to the idea that kids can wear you down. Add to that a toddler-they want what they want and they don't like hearing 'no.' Jack-Jack is no different, except when he gets mad, he bursts into flames."
The film introduces a new villain with a brilliant and dangerous plot that threatens everything. "This villain is different," says producer John Walker. "Helen has her work cut out for her to stop a villain who can manipulate people from a distance. And if Helen fails, her mission to bring back Supers fails. A lot is at stake."
Story supervisor Ted Mathot finds a lot of yin and yang to Helen's story. "Supers are illegal," he says. "In order for her to change the law, she has to break it. In order for her to save her family, she has to leave them."
According to Bird, the story strives to strike a balance between the adventure and the more ordinary aspects of family life. "It's a dance between the mundane and the fantastic," he says. "We don't do one for very long without doing the other.
"Helen might take a call in the middle of battling the bad guys to help her kid find his shoes," continues Bird. "Or Violet might use her power of invisibility when she is feeling totally humiliated. Audiences see that and think, 'Yeah, I'd do that, too.'"
The film is even edited to reflect the duality of the Parrs' lives. "We are constantly intercutting between Helen's mission and what's going on at home," says film editor Stephen Schaffer. "It's that combination that makes it so entertaining."
Holly Hunter and Craig T. Nelson return as the voices of Helen and Bob Parr, who still struggle to juggle their duties as parents and Supers. Sarah Vowell once again provides the voice of the teen-queen of sarcasm Violet, while Huck Milner joins the cast as the voice of 10-year-old Dash, and Samuel L. Jackson reprises his role as the voice of Lucius Best - aka Frozone. Incredibles 2 also features the voices of Brad Bird as fashion visionary Edna "E" Mode, Bob Odenkirk as savvy businessman and Super fan Winston Deavor, Catherine Keener as tech pro Evelyn Deavor, Jonathan Banks as Rick Dicker, Sophia Bush as "wannabe" hero Voyd, and Isabella Rossellini as an influential ambassador and advocate for Supers.
Written and directed by Bird (The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, Ratatouille) and produced by Walker (The Incredibles, Tomorrowland) and Grindle (Sanjay's Super Team short, Toy Story 3 associate producer), Incredibles 2 is executive produced by John Lasseter. The Incredibles was the film that introduced Oscar(r)-winning composer Michael Giacchino (Up, Tomorrowland) to moviegoers, and he returns to the Incredibles universe to create the score for Incredibles 2
Writer/director Brad Bird looked to his own life when he created the original characters of The Incredibles. "Everyone's powers are inspired by their role in the family and where they are in their lives at that time," says Bird. "We played with traditional archetypes-the strong father figure and the multitasking mother-but in the end, we found that most of us can relate to all of the characters in some way. We've all been that impatient 10-year-old or the insecure teenager. We've all felt like we're shouldering an impossible load between home and work or school, and we've all felt like we're being pulled in too many directions."
The idea that the movie is a family film extends beyond the audience it attracts. "We could say that Helen is driving this story or Bob drove 'The Incredibles,'" says supervising animator Tony Fucile, who helped design the original characters. "But I think that the whole family-the Incredibles as a unit-is the protagonist in this story."
"The Incredibles" introduced Pixar's first wholly human cast of characters. But according to Bird, who established the overall style of the characters with Fucile, Teddy Newton and Lou Romano, they didn't want their humans to look too human. "We put a lot of energy into simplifying the characters and making them graphic," says Bird. "The farther you get from the center of a character's face, the less detail there is."
Though Bird was happy with the end result, the technology available at the time did present some limitations. Character art director Matt Nolte says that 14 years of advances have made the looks easier to achieve. "We went back to the original art and used the technology available to us now to create the looks that were always intended back then."
According to character modeling and articulation lead Mark Piretti, the Incredibles 2 team went back to the clay maquettes Kent Melton created for The Incredibles. "We mined those sculpts for any details that didn't make it into the character models the first time," says Piretti. "We also pulled old drawings from the archives to look for further inspiration wherever we could find it. In the end, we came up with some very cool designs that are fresh and familiar at the same time."
Adds supervising technical director Rick Sayre, "The eyes of the characters this time around are inspired by actual human eyes. It's a subtle technical advance that adds a little gleam to their eyes and a sense of life and realness that makes them that much more believable."
Of course, these characters are Supers with extraordinary abilities that literally defy physics on occasion. Their powers were carefully cultivated to shape and define each character both as Supers and as members of the family. But filmmakers didn't want them to feel indestructible. "We want the audience to feel their vulnerability," says Fucile. "We want people to worry about them-despite the fact they have super powers. We had to find the sweet spot between Super and mere mortal."
Production manager Sabine Koch O'Sullivan says she fell for the characters in The Incredibles, but a lot has changed since then. "When I worked on the first film, I was a single young woman who worked all the time," she says. "The characters really spoke to me then. I saw my own mom in Helen. Now I'm married and a mother of two and I see myself in Helen. I think these characters represent us all. We achieved something really special-then and now."
Incredibles 2 welcomes back to the big screen the family of Supers that charmed audiences in 2004, as well as old favourites like Lucius Best (aka Frozone) and Edna "E" Mode. The movie also introduces new characters to its super mix-from billionaire do-gooders to wannabe Supers-creating a dynamic cast of characters brought to life by all-star voice talent.
Helen Parr, known in the Super world as Elastigirl, hung up her supersuit to raise the family with husband Bob, leaving their crime-fighting days behind them. But when she's tapped to lead a campaign to bring the Supers back into the spotlight, she finds she can still bend, stretch and twist herself into any shape needed to solve the trickiest of mysteries. In short, she's still got it.
"We treat being a Super as a vocation," says writer/director Brad Bird. "The government shuts down the program that protects Supers and provides them with housing and jobs. So Helen and Bob are faced with a real- life dilemma. 'What's next? How will we pay the bills and provide for our family?' They're just like the rest of us."
Fortunately, opportunity knocks. Siblings Winston and Evelyn Deavor are huge fans of the Supers and are starting a campaign to improve their public image and ultimately bring them back. Says producer John Walker, "Evelyn does a cost-benefit analysis and finds that Helen tends to solve crimes with far less damage than Bob-so they choose Helen for the job."
Adds producer Nicole Paradis Grindle, "Helen has spent the last several years shouldering the household responsibilities while Bob worked office jobs. But she was really good at being a Super-even if she's forgotten that a little over the years. So she's pretty excited to be back out there making a difference."
In order to set Helen up for success, the Deavors surprise her with a brand-new Elasticycle. She had one back in the day, but this one is extra special. Designed exclusively for her, this state-of-the-art cycle can come apart to accommodate Elastigirl's ever- changing form. Filmmakers consulted a stuntman to ensure Helen's performance on the Elasticycle was as believable as possible. "We went through a lot of footage of what a motorcycle would do," says supervising animator Alan Barillaro. "We needed to understand how she should transfer her weight among other things."
Filmmakers also spent a lot of time mastering Helen's stretchy super power. Supervising animator Dave Mullins spearheaded Elastigirl for The Incredibles and returned for Incredibles 2 "We're able to do things now that we couldn't do back then," he says. "When I animated Elastigirl before, I had my own set of rules. So now, we can apply them and improve upon them."
According to Mullins, Helen's regular rig can stretch, but filmmakers created a second rig with added bells and whistles, taking cues from the rig created for Hank in Finding Dory (which was also used for Dante's tongue in Coco). But Mullins wanted to ensure animators fully understood how to incorporate Elastigirl's stretch, so he delivered rubber bands to each of the animators' desks. "When she stretches, she's like a rubber band," he says, "taut, but the farther she stretches, the less strength she has."
As tempting as it was to stretch Elastigirl-just because you can-Mullins says she doesn't stretch unless she has to. And no matter how much she stretches, her head and face are always intact.
And so is her hair. "Helen's hair defies gravity," says simulation supervisor Tiffany Erickson Klohn. "It's graphic and super cool. But when she's on top of a train going 200 miles per hour and the wind is blowing through her hair, it is a real challenge to preserve her classic look." A new hair system and pipeline were introduced to address grooming and simulation needs.
Holly Hunter returns as the voice of Helen/Elastigirl. "I think she has total fearlessness when it comes to her role as a Super," says Hunter. "But when it comes to her children, she has a very strong protective instinct. She has this innate desire to save others, which is a beautiful thing-especially in the world today."
According to supervising animator Tony Fucile, Hunter brings important qualities to the character. "Holly has a very specific voice," he says. "She has a lot of energy, toughness and intelligence, which really impacts how Helen moves."
The character's personality-the toughness and intelligence-actually affected how filmmakers shot her action sequences. Says Mahyar Abousaeedi, director of photography-camera, "We wanted to convey that Helen is a strategist-she's a couple steps ahead of the game. She uses her environment to her advantage, which is different from Bob's approach. She's more proactive. I've always liked that about her."
Hunter says the recording process was nothing but fun. "Brad [Bird] plays the other characters when we record," she says. "I appreciate his sense of humour. He's so playful."
Bob Parr cherishes his days as Mr. Incredible-a popular Super with mega-strength and the power to singlehandedly take out the bad guys. Ever since Supers were outlawed, Bob's been mostly lying low, raising the family alongside his wife Helen. But when she's called on to stretch her super skills and hopefully change the public perception of Supers for the better, Bob must manage the household on his own, which calls for a completely different set of super powers.
The idea that Helen is chosen to lead the campaign to bring back Supers stings Bob at first. "Bob loves being the hero," says story supervisor Ted Mathot. "But he's a bull-in-a-china-shop kind of super hero. So while Helen is the better choice in terms of improving the Supers' reputation, Bob is surprised and maybe a little disappointed he didn't get chosen. But he wholeheartedly supports Helen."
Always a champion of his family, Bob isn't afraid of taking on the duties at home either-but he's hit with a few surprises along the way. "Bob is perfectly capable of taking care of Violet, Dash and Jack-Jack on his own," says writer/director Brad Bird. "But he has to fail a lot before he can succeed-like we all do every single day as parents. Failure, however, isn't easy for this particular super hero to accept."
Adding to the challenge of taking on the household responsibilities solo is the fact that Jack-Jack's super powers are emerging. "Bob is really excited to discover that Jack-Jack has powers," says producer John Walker. "But with those powers comes a real challenge. Toddlers are hard enough without lasers shooting from their eyes."
The character was designed to be extreme with a giant torso and short legs. "Bob putting on his socks is a very tricky scene with his tiny feet and big hands," says supervising animator Alan Barillaro. "He's all upper body, which informs how he moves. He's strong, but not necessarily elegant."
According to simulation supervisor Tiffany Erickson Klohn, Bob's massive muscles required extra attention from the simulation department. "Hopefully you'll feel it more than you'll see it," she says, "because we try to make it as physically real as possible."
Mahyar Abousaeedi, director of photography-camera, says many of Bob's scenes called for a toned-down approach to the camera movement. "Bob's experience in this film is the opposite of the first film," he says. "His scenes call for less camera movement and limited lens choices, a visual reminder that he's bound to the responsibilities of the family."
Craig T. Nelson provides the voice of Bob. "I think Bob would've preferred to be out there, saving the world, being Mr. Incredible," he says. "But he accepts his new role and in doing so, he finds out things about his family that I think are intrinsically interesting and important.
"There are so many things about Bob that are familiar to me," continues Nelson. "I'm a father. I have three kids and eight grandkids and three great-grandkids. And I'm in control of none of it."
"Craig is so great at being both powerful and a little bit clueless in a completely charming way," says producer Nicole Grindle. "Bob's a caricature of that old-school dad in some ways-yet he's committed to this new mission, and Craig really finds the perfect balance."
Violet Parr, the firstborn of the Parr clan, is an introverted and intelligent 14-year - old teen who doesn't quite fit in with the normal crowd. Socially awkward, outspoken and sarcastic, Violet plays her teenager role to perfection-all while secretly mastering her super powers of invisibility and creating force fields. A Super at heart, Violet can't help her urge to fight crime alongside her family.
"Violet turned a corner at the end of the first movie," says producer Nicole Paradis Grindle. "Thanks in part to her role in fighting crime with her family, she was beginning to believe in herself. She was confident enough to ask her longtime crush, Tony Rydinger, to go to the movies."
Filmmakers showcase Violet's confidence in her look. "For most of the first movie, her hair is in her face, as if she's hiding," says character art director Matt Nolte. "This time, we pulled her hair back. It symbolizes that she's not scared anymore."
Achieving Violet's hairstyle is challenging in CG. "Her hair is one of the hardest types of hair to do, which is why we don't often see characters with long straight hair like Violet's," says simulation supervisor Tiffany Erickson Klohn. "We want it to look silky and straight, but in action scenes, it should have some breakup, too. Technically, it's tough to get both of these qualities at once.
"Plus, Violet has a small frame and a larger head," Klohn continues. "So when she moves and turns, there's very little for her hair to rest on."
Pele, a proprietary new grooming tool, is named after the goddess of volcanoes. Debuting on Incredibles 2 Pele allows artists to see their changes in real time as they're being developed. "Before, we couldn't see the overall silhouette we were creating until we rendered the shot," says character shading and groom lead Beth Albright. "With Pele, we can see complex hair patterns hairs in real time in Presto, our animation software."
American-history author Sarah Vowell lends her voice to Violet. "Violet, like any teenager, is trapped between childhood and maturity, between self-confidence and insecurity," says Vowell. "She just happens to have a secret after-school job as a Super. Her powers-the abilities to turn invisible and produce increasingly large-scale
force fields-reflect a female teen's occasional desires to protect herself, block out the world and avoid scrutiny or surveillance."
Violet's enhanced force fields called for new effects. "We wanted to start with a similar look to the first film," says effects supervisor Bill Watral. "But she progresses quickly and is able to do more with her force fields, so we had to figure out how that changes the look of her force fields. There are several key components-noise or static and an interaction component. It has to be cool because Violet wouldn't use it otherwise."
"Violet can be hilarious, but her humour has some bite to it," says Vowell. "She has a tendency to comment a little too truthfully about any given scenario in the moment. As a smart aleck myself, I imagine wise guys of all stripes can also empathize with her sarcasm and her very human inability to edit uncomfortable thoughts. For better or worse, if she thinks it, she says it."
Grindle suspects Vowell understands her character for a very good reason. "Sarah genuinely thinks the way Brad [Bird] wants Violet to think," says Grindle. "Her deliveries are spot-on for that reason. And this isn't even what she does. She's an accomplished author. We're lucky to have her."
Dashiell Parr is a 10-year-old boy-restless, relentless, curious-with the remarkable power of super speed. Dash sports a hearty sense of adventure and a boundless supply of energy. He'd love nothing more than to show off his special skills and fight a few bad guys along the way-and doesn't understand why he has to keep his powers a secret.
Says producer John Walker, "Dash got a taste of life as a crime fighter in the first film. Returning to regular life doesn't really interest him-he loved fighting crime with his family and, even better, showing off just how fast he can be."
The character got a makeover that took him closer to another Incredible. Says character supervisor Bill Wise, "We wanted him to look more like his dad-more like a mini Bob. So we spent a lot of time finessing his shape, giving him more of a sculpted, squared forehead, and making him a bit more muscular. And his hair was a big challenge."
Dash sports what filmmakers called a "hood ornament"-the swoosh of hair in the back of his head-which makes him look even faster when he's running. "When we're staging him in a shot, it might not be visible," says character shading and groom lead Beth Albright. "If an animator wants to see it, Pele [the new grooming software tool] provides the ability to interact with the hair curves and bend the swoosh to get the desired silhouette."
Showcasing Pixar's relentless attention to detail, because Dash's hair was so complex-it was difficult to render. "Light bounces around inside each strand of hair and passes into the next," says optimization and rendering supervisor Reid Sandros. "With blonde hair, the light bounces around a lot. And Dash's hair is not only blonde, it's big- especially his swoosh. All of those bounces make it hard for the renderer to resolve the final colour, which ends up appearing as noise in the image. So we had to set up special rules to limit the way light could travel through the hair in order to get a clean image."
Since Spencer Fox, the 22-year-old original voice of Dash, no longer sounds like a 10-year-old, Huckleberry "Huck" Milner was brought in to voice the middle Parr. According to Walker, Fox embodied the character a little too well. "He was unpredictable-like Dash-but he'd give these completely original readings," says Walker. "Huck was the only kid we interviewed who had that same thing going on. We'd never get what we expected, but what we did get was brilliant."
Milner says he can relate to Dash in a lot of ways. "I have two sisters who I happily annoy. I'm also a 10-year-old boy who goes to school and plays sports."
What is it about Dash that's so likable? "Because speed is awesome," says Milner.
"Dash is at an age where he doesn't think too deeply," says supervising animator Alan Barillaro. "He enjoys his life, watches his cartoons and eats his cereal. So he's mostly content.
"But we do give him some subtle behaviours that really shape his character," continues Barillaro. "He cues off his sister a lot to know how to react to a situation."
Jack-Jack Parr, the baby of the family, likes to sit back with a bottle and a good story. Well-versed in gibberish with a penchant for throwing food, Jack-Jack seems like a typical toddler, but he just might turn out to be the most powerful Parr in the household.
"The family has no idea he has powers," says producer John Walker. "At the end of the first film the audience gets the first glimpse of what Jack-Jack can do-like bursting into flames and turning into a demon baby-but the Parrs didn't see that all happening."
He's still 100 percent toddler, too, with a host of needs, wants and ever-changing emotions that keep even the best parent guessing. "Anyone who's taken care of a regular baby day in and day out knows that it can be exhausting," says writer/director Brad Bird. "Toddlers have curiosity and mobility-but zero judgment. And Jack-Jack isn't just trying out one power-he has a multitude of powers going on."
Jack- Jack has a bigger role in Incredibles 2 so filmmakers wanted to enhance his look. "We studied how babies move," says supervising animator Tony Fucile. "They have all kinds of quirks that only careful observation revealed-the way they walk on their toes or catch themselves when they fall. There is a blend of athleticism, when they can control themselves-and awkward wobbling, when they can't."
The toddler's makeover includes a chubbier face and body, with added articulation in his face since he's more expressive in the film.
Lucius Best is not only Bob's best friend, he's a fellow- former Super who's so chill, he can make ice with the point of a finger. But even when he's not fighting crime as Frozone, Lucius is all about style. He has a quick wit and a cool, can-do attitude-and he wouldn't think twice about breaking out his supersuit if it could help bring Supers out of hiding.
"Lucius is the first Super to get approached about the new campaign," says story supervisor Ted Mathot. "He quickly lets Bob and Helen in on the plan, which he thinks sounds great. He's adjusted pretty well to civilian life, but-like Bob-he'd jump at any opportunity to be a Super again."
Samuel L. Jackson returns as the voice of Lucius in Incredibles 2 "Lucius is easygoing," says Jackson. "He's hard to rattle. He seems to enjoy his powers and how they enhance his cool factor."
"Sam is a force of nature," says writer/director Brad Bird. "He's a strong personality when he enters the room. When he sits down, he's like a cool cat who is very comfortable, yet he exerts a kind of authority that animators love because it's specific."
Jackson intuitively understands the animation process. "When we use our voices, it allows animators to create something that's expressive in a very specific way," he says. "We've all been hired to bring a vocal dynamic to our characters that paints a picture for the people animating them. We have to put ourselves in the mind-set of what the world is and what the rules of the world are so that we can create real characters inside that world."
According to Jackson, the characters are easy to channel because they are typical, everyday people. "They could be anybody," he says. "They're out there trying to make ends meet. They just happen to have super powers."
Edna "E" Mode possesses impeccable design sense, a keen understanding of cutting-edge technology and an unmatched skill set. A creative visionary, she longs for the return of Supers so she can once again create functional yet cutting-edge supersuits.
"E takes over every room she enters," says writer/director Brad Bird, who lends his voice to the fan favourite. "No matter how big and strong the people around her are-and she's often surrounded by Supers-her personality just dominates. I think we all summon our inner E during our most confident moments."
Since Edna shares several scenes with Bob aka Mr. Incredible, director of photography-camera Mahyar Abousaeedi had to figure out how to frame the duo. "Edna is so small compared to Bob, who's unusually big," he says. But instead of cheating the shots, filmmakers decided to lean into the size difference. Says Abousaeedi, "When framing Edna and Bob, we composed those moments in the spirit of 'The Incredibles.' Edna is commanding, and we sometimes frame her to dominate the composition, but still highlight their size difference by framing parts of Bob's body, which is a fun reminder of their scale difference."
Winston Deavor and Evelyn Deavor lead a world-class telecommunications company. "Winston and Evelyn's parents were big supporters of the Supers," says writer/director Brad Bird. "So when they inherited the company, they continued this support and have decided to take it to the next level, kicking off a campaign to help the Supers' cause."
Adds producer John Walker, "Since the government just shut down the program that helps Supers, the time is right for the Deavors to step in."
Ultra-wealthy, savvy and suave, Winston goes big in everything he does-including his plan to bring back the Supers. All he needs is a super hero (or three) to help him change public perception and eventually make them legal again.
The design of the billionaire businessman went through many iterations before filmmakers concluded that the character's determination and drive were reflective of a shark. "We incorporated a lot of sharp angles in his face, and his forehead slants back into his hairline like a fin," says character art director Matt Nolte. "He even wears a sharkskin suit."
Bob Odenkirk was called on to voice Winston. "He's very gung-ho-he's a real salesman," says Odenkirk. "He wants to convince the Supers to come out from the shadows and do what they were meant to do."
Walker says Odenkirk helped make the billionaire relatable. "Bob has a great comic style, yet it's understated," says Walker. "The role isn't necessarily comedic, but Bob is able to bring humour to his performance."
"I've spent my life writing comedy," Odenkirk says. "I really respect the hard work and talent that is evident in Pixar's storytelling. I'm always trying to be a better writer, so to get to see Pixar's process from the inside-that alone was a reason to do this."
Winston's brilliant but laid-back sister and business partner, Evelyn, knows her way around tech-she's never met a problem she can't solve. When Helen is recruited to help the Deavors bring back Supers, she and Evelyn become fast friends-exchanging ideas, creating strategies and sharing a lot of laughs along the way. "They form a sisterhood," says producer Nicole Paradis Grindle. "They find they have a lot in common-they're both strong and smart."
Filmmakers wanted the siblings to look like they were family-Evelyn has the same tilt to her eyes that Winston sports-while showing the contrast in their personalities. Bird compares Evelyn to a cat-laid-back, confident and comfortable wherever she goes. "She'll walk into a boardroom, plop down and sit cross-legged," he says.
Walker says that Catherine Keener, who provides the voice of Evelyn, embodies the character's bohemian personality. "She walks in to record, kicks off her shoes and flops down on the floor," says Walker. "She'll put her feet up-really she's doing exactly what we imagined the character doing, which is kind of fascinating."
"Evelyn's very brainy and nerdy, but really cool, too," says Keener of her character. "It's a dream come true to be in an Incredibles movie, because the first one is one of Pixar's best."
Keener was particularly drawn to the Parr family. "They're a mess-just like every other family," she says. "As a parent, you have to make hard choices, you have to advocate for your children's well-being today and in the future. It's messy and uncomfortable, but I think you become a better person as a result."
Rick Dicker heads up the official Super Relocation Program, helping the Parr family keep their Super identities secret-which is no easy feat with this family. But Rick takes his job very seriously-at least until his division is shuttered, leaving the Parrs all on their own.
"Rick Dicker is inspired by the G-men from classic film," says producer Nicole Grindle. "He's a 'government man'-one of the feds. But this time, we see a softer, Hawaiian-shirt-wearing side of him."
Jonathan Banks was cast to provide the voice of Rick Dicker.
Screenslaver is a high-tech super-villain whose light-pattern projections hypnotize his victims. His stunts attract the attention of Elastigirl, who keeps fighting against the Screenslaver's efforts, boosting her own popularity in the process.
"Screenslaver has the power to control potentially large numbers of people by using TV screens, monitors-whatever people might be watching," says writer/director Brad Bird. "And while Elastigirl is pursuing Screenslaver, this clever villain seems to be targeting her, too."
The Supers find an advocate in a dignified foreign Ambassador who is committed to the support and legalization of Supers.
Filmmakers asked Isabella Rossellini to voice the charismatic and distinguished character. "She is charming, funny and really interesting," says producer John Walker. "Those are the same qualities we saw in the Ambassador."
Says Rossellini, "Who wouldn't want to be in a Pixar film? I am a superfan of all Pixar work and so is my family. My character, the Ambassador, offered a glimpse into the creative process of animation and how the great director Brad Bird works."
The "Wannabe" Supers are a group of second rate Supers who aspire to join the ranks of the Incredibles, Frozone and other popular super heroes. They team up with the Deavors to help bring Supers back.
- Voyd is a young, overeager mega-fan of Elastigirl. Her super power is the ability to divert and manipulate objects around her by creating voids that allow the objects to appear and disappear. According to global technology supervisor Darwyn Peachey, Voyd's super power called for some technical intervention to make it easier to achieve in layout and animation. "We wrote software to duplicate characters and connect multiple cameras so that when you look through one side of the void hole, you will see what a camera at the other location sees. If a character sticks her arm through the hole on one side, we need to place a duplicate of her arm on the other side. It's quite complex to set that up mathematically". Sophia Bush lends her voice to Voyd, whose super intelligence she admires. "I'm always talking to girls about education being of paramount importance, how their brains are the most valuable parts of their bodies, and how smart is sexy," says Bush. "And I get to play a science nerd who manipulates space! I like to think of Voyd as a woman in STEM!"
- Brick is super tough with mega muscles and a fearless spirit that showcases her strong name. "Brick is incredibly muscular, and has really pushed proportions," says character supervisor Bill Wise. "Big, bulky characters are always tricky, and with brick, we also had a very angular graphic design and a multi-layered armor costume to contend with".
- Reflux is a senior who has the unsettling super power of heaving hot lava, which helps him break into some of the most secure locales. Making the character appealing was a huge challenge until artists turned to frogs for inspiration. Says character art director Matt Nolte, "Somehow, the idea of a frog made the character appealing and funny-even though his super power seems repulsive at first."
- It's mind over matter for Krushauer who has the power of telekinesis. This guy can crush a car without even laying a hand on it. "He can throw things using his mind," says Nolte. "He can be 20 feet away and still squash something with a wave of his hands."
- Screech sports big owl-like eyes and a head that rotates 360 degrees. He can fly, thanks to a pair of wings he made to complete his look, but his real power is a high-pitched screech that can break glass. "Screech was probably the most complicated of the 'Wannabe' Supers," says Wise. "He had a pretty elaborate wing rig and a cowl with articulated feathers that we had to keep from intersecting during some extreme owl-like head turns-but the final look is great."
- He-Lectrix can shoot lightning bolts from his fingertips. He's high voltage, so it's best to steer clear. Says costume designer Bryn Imagire, "He-Lectrix has a really cool supersuit with a lightning bolt graphic. The lightning has a different sheen than the rest of his costume, so when he's moving, it looks very dynamic."
When "The Incredibles" was in production, it was harder for the filmmakers to create and art-direct large crowds. "The world felt a little small," says Gordon Cameron, simulation supervisor. "So for this film, there was a big push to broaden the world and populate it with a large number and a rich variety of people and vehicles."
According to Paul Kanyuk, crowds technical supervisor, crowds create spectacle within a sequence. "A large crowd says 'wow, something big is going on,'" he says. "But animating one character takes a lot of time. By the time you get to 10 or 100 characters in a given scene, it's not just business as usual. You need technical tricks to achieve animation on that scale."
Crowd technology has been improving since "Brave," and continues to be enhanced with each subsequent film. Filmmakers have figured out how to cleverly create bits of reusable animation, replicating certain details and reducing the amount of information their systems have to handle. "But we have to hide the fact that there's any replication," says Kanyuk. "It takes a lot of careful choreography and we're very strategic where we add detail-the viewer's eye can only see so much, so we want to put it where it counts."
Adding to the authenticity, many of the crowds characters are simulated. "It can be complex to simulate background characters en masse," says Cameron. "But we've developed ways to dress and groom the crowds characters and be selective about when we simulate their garments or hair. In fact, we can swap in easier versions as required. We can easily pick out individuals to promote-characters who are close to camera or wearing something like a free-flowing skirt-and simulate them to create a dynamic overall look to the crowd."
In 2004, fans not only fell for the characters in "The Incredibles," they also soaked up the mid -century world of the film. Since "Incredibles 2" picks up where the first film left off, the look is back-and thanks to advances in technology, it's even better.
According to writer/director Brad Bird, the nostalgic look is reminiscent of a movie genre that sparked his imagination back when the first film was in development. But the genre had nothing to do with comic-book heroes. "I was inspired by spy series and spy movies," says Bird. "James Bond, 'Mission: Impossible,' 'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.,' 'Our Man Flint,' as well as a prime-time adventure cartoon called 'Jonny Quest.' There were a bunch of them in the '60s that had that cool, elegant flavor that we wanted to capture."
From the architecture to the cars on the streets to the characters themselves, the original film invoked a '50s vibe-with a contemporary twist and a nod to the future. In short-it had a style all its own. Says production designer Ralph Eggleston, "We aren't trying to capture the '50s, but people's memory of the era. It's the retro future that never became."
The team gravitated toward the clean lines celebrated in mid-century architecture-garnering inspiration from a research trip to Palm Springs. Eggleston says it's all about simplicity. "Brad Bird's writing of characters and his storytelling skills are such that it allowed us to really caricature the world," he says. "It's not about reality. It's about believability. And the believability in 'The Incredibles' was less the look than the storytelling. The characters just feel real-even though Bob's ankles are about two inches in diameter and he can't fit both shoulders through a doorway at the same time. It's heightened reality."
According to Eggleston, even though Incredibles 2 takes place at the same time as the original, the team expanded the look to embrace styles introduced in the early 1960s. "The original film embraced the mid- '50s," he says, "but we wanted to incorporate elements of the late '50s, early '60s. It's not specific, but it feels right."
Adds supervising technical director Rick Sayre, "The lighting approach to this film is different than it was in the first film, also taking a page from the live-action playbook. We're setting up the sets in pre- lighting in a new way. We've tried this on our shorts before, but for the first time in a feature at Pixar, we're showing animation blocking with rough lighting that's representative of what we're going to ultimately see."
The cinematography has evolved, too, says director of photography-camera Mahyar Abousaeedi. "There's a lot more action to choreograph and shoot now," he says. "Brad's live- action experience had a noticeable influence on us, and we really enjoyed working with him and the story team. We were encouraged to make camera choices that were physically grounded and motivated by the action."
Director of photography-lighting Erik Smitt comes from a background of animation, painting and live-action filmmaking. "We used virtual physical lights on the set, allowing more creative and cinematic options," he says. "We used flags and blocking objects to cast real shadows, adding subtle authenticity to our scenes.
"Brad [Bird] told us to be inspired by the original film, but not be shackled by it," Smitt continues. "Because of that, we've been able to push the visual style of the film while still feeling true to the original."
Hometown - Municiberg is the Parrs' hometown. It's where the final battle against Syndrome's Omnidroid took place in "The Incredibles" and the town the Underminer threatens at the end. In Incredibles 2 Municiberg is home to Devtech headquarters as well as The Happy Platter, a restaurant where Bob takes the kids to dinner. The Parrs have spent three months in the Safari Court motel, located just off the interstate, and they ultimately relocate to a grand estate on the outskirts of Municiberg overlooking the whole city.
According to production designer Ralph Eggleston, Municiberg is Anytown U.S.A. It feels familiar, yet has no identifying landmarks that place it anywhere specific. "Municiberg has grown since the first film," he says, "at least in terms of background cars and characters and the costumes those characters are wearing. Our approach has evolved over the years and we're able to do so much more."
Sets supervisor Nathan Fariss and his team were able to pull some of the buildings and sets from the first film, including the stadium where Dash competes in his track meet, as well as Violet's school. "We did an upgrade pass on them to ensure they'd fit within our modern work."
Filmmakers decided to create the whole city versus designing individual areas that may not tie together logically. Says Fariss, "Creating a city is an enormous amount of work. There's so much that goes into it-from the buildings and sidewalks to the parking meters, street signs, newspaper boxes, sidewalk cafés and all of the cars in the streets. There are other ways of doing it, like matte painting, but we didn't want to be limited in terms of where we could go, particularly when the story calls for something like a helicopter sequence over the city."
According to director of photography-lighting Erik Smitt, the lighting team went all out with the helicopter sequence. "Elastigirl is moving from one helicopter to another as they fly across the city," he says. "It's very dramatic with upward-facing lighting, bold colours, strong shades and silhouette. It's a good example of how the lighting can really enhance the action."
Graphics art director Josh Holtsclaw spearheaded all of the graphics within the city, adding a layer of believability to Municiberg. Holtsclaw and his team referenced everything from vintage Disneyland attraction posters to world's fairs from the '40s, '50s and '60s. "We wanted to communicate a sense of history," says Holtsclaw. "So we might have a giant faded soft-drink sign painted on a brick wall with a plastic convenience store sign in front of it."
Safari Court - The mid- century motel greets visitors with its happy, conga -drum neon sign, parking-lot pool and multicoloured doors. "It's an interstate motel," says production designer Ralph Eggleston. "We decorated the rooms with cheesy paintings of the ocean because we wanted the family to feel like they were on a raft."
The motel is where Helen and Bob discuss the opportunity presented by the Deavors. Smitt says that while big action sequences are fun to light, so are the quieter scenes. "Helen and Bob are having an intimate moment together," he says. "We don't push it. It feels cinematically strong but still grounded, which contrasts with our dynamic super-hero scenes. But then she crosses the room to answer the phone and accept the Deavors' gig. In that moment, she changes into Elastigirl-mode and the cool wash of moonlight that's filtering through the curtains actually sharpens, hitting her with an accent rim."
The Happy Platter - Every hometown needs a good restaurant. While a bit out of the way for the Parrs, The Happy Platter is chosen as a place for a family dinner, based on one very special employee. The whole restaurant had to be built, including the red vinyl booths, decorative plants and the silverware on the tables.
Devtech - Devtech's headquarters are located in a high -rise in central Municiberg. "Devtech has the same mid-century feel," says Fariss, "but it's designed to be this superclean, gleaming palace in the sky. There are high ceilings, glass staircases and white concrete. Everything is polished, bright and airy."
New Home - Since the Parrs' home was destroyed at the end of "The Incredibles," filmmakers knew they'd need new digs for Incredibles 2 Eggleston's team originally designed a 2,300-square-foot house, but the story later called for a much larger state- of-the-art home that the Deavors provide to the Parrs. "The new house is a cantilevered house built on a precipice outside of the city," says Eggleston. "Inspired by a rocket with influence from a lot of different architects, we wanted a heavily caricatured look."
According to Eggleston, at about 38,000 square feet of virtual space, the house features multiple rooms and unusual architectural features. "We want the audience to be in awe but still believe this is a real place," he says. "So we had to create a layout that would work with what was still an emerging story, which is challenging but really important to establish that believability."
According to Anthony Christov, art director for environments, the high-tech home is a reflection of the Deavors' wealth, embracing the futuristic aspects of mid-century modern design. "The whole house is animated," he says. "It isn't a symmetrical design and is completely unpredictable."
Filmmakers played with a fantastic reality with over-the-top gadgets, water features and a floor that moves like a sliding puzzle. The ceiling of the den is the bottom of the swimming pool, and there's a secret garage with a waterfall door. "There's a deliberate contrast between this high-tech house and the suburban Parr family that leads to a lot of humour," says Christov. "The family isn't very comfortable there, though it takes them a while to realise that."
Adds sets supervisor Nathan Fariss, "It's completely inappropriate for a family of five - there are open flames everywhere; there's a fireplace in Jack-Jack's room."
Fariss' team created every prop and set piece that filled the massive home, including high-end furniture, the trees and bushes outside the home and the interior décor. "Every single thing had to be made," says Fariss. "We created every seating surface, lamp, candelabra, clock, toaster, carafe, pot and pan.
"The house is a great big layer cake of complexity as far as the pieces coming together," Fariss continues. "We are also responsible for adding colour and texture to everything we've created. We take the raw 3D shapes and add everything that makes them feel real. We add colour and determine the level of shininess. We control the weave of the fabric that covers the chairs-if we want a very coarse weave or very fine silk-like look, we can dial that in. We make cabinets look like enamel and countertops feel like marble. We make the terrazzo floor."
New (Old) Town - When Helen is recruited to lead the campaign to bring back Supers, she is taken to New Urbem, a big city where the Deavors think she'll be able to show off her Super skills. "It's apparently a super-hero playground," says sets supervisor Nathan Fariss. "New Urbem is grittier than Municiberg-darker and dirtier with heavy stone, dark brick and cast iron. It's Chicago, New York, Hong Kong-all of the world's big cities mashed together."
According to Fariss, filmmakers were able to expand on the mid- century feel in New Urbem, dipping into earlier eras to showcase the age of the city. There is ample opportunity to see the city, too, thanks to a high-speed train chase sequence. "Every single shot is a totally new setup for us," says Fariss. "We transition from downtown New Urbem to an industrial warehouse district, then to a construction area and out into the hills, hitting an outlying suburb. Each area calls for its own buildings, props, graphics. Downtown features skyscrapers, gleaming steel and shiny concrete. Then we see older, dirtier structures and brick warehouses with completely different shapes and sizes. We added garbage bags and dumpsters, shipping containers, construction equipment and the backs of semitrucks."
Helen and her high-tech Elasticycle navigate miles and miles of terrain in pursuit of the runaway train. According to Mahyar Abousaeedi, director of photography-camera, capturing the sequence at higher and higher speeds was a challenge. "There's a section where she jumps from rooftop to rooftop," he says. "But she's moving too fast. Instead of slowing her down, we worked closely with art and sets to stage the action we needed and let them design the city to her action. This allowed for more fluid movement."
Effects artists also contributed to the look of the high-speed sequence. One shot called for Helen to bust through a glass window. But because of the quick cuts and fast pace, filmmakers found it hard to see the glass actually breaking. "We decided to break the rules a bit," says effects sequence lead Amit Baadkar. "We added more glass shards than there actually are in the windows of the warehouse and we made the shards larger. We reduced the blurring that happens due to the camera motion. And we coordinated with lighting to shine more light on the shards themselves to get a better read."
The effects team added tire smoke to the Elasticycle's movements throughout the sequence. "It's important that we feel the effect," says Baadkar, "but not draw the audience's eye directly toward it."
Screenslaver's Lair - Helen is determined to snag Screenslaver, but first she has to find the villain. She navigates the shadows of New Urbem, ultimately finding herself in Screenslaver's lair - though the villain is nowhere in sight. The sequence called for an elaborate set, designed to pique moviegoers' imaginations. "The interior of the lair is the densest set in the movie," says Fariss. "It is littered with gadgets, props and tools. There are items we designed for very specific story points like maps, eyeballs and goggles. But there is a lot of stuff from previous Pixar films. We basically raided the prop house."
According to director of photography-lighting Erik Smitt, the lighting team added tension and mystery by allowing Elastigirl to get lost in the shadows while tracking the Screenslaver across the rooftops. "It's really dark and fog-filled," he says. "It's pretty creepy and pushed. But then we sharply transition to a big, bright battle sequence with an intense exposure and colour change."
While the Parrs haven't yet discovered Jack-Jack's super potential, the audience is privy to several of the toddler's powers-some revealed high in the sky at the end of "The Incredibles," some shared in the 2005 short "Jack-Jack Attack" in which the tot inadvertently terrorizes his babysitter, and others were recently unveiled in a trailer for Incredibles 2 Even more will be discovered in theaters.
Among Jack-Jack's powers, so far:
- Bursting into flames/pyrokinesis
- Laser vision
- Levitation and the ability to hang out on the ceiling and walls
- Multiplication - splitting into multiple Jack-Jacks
- Phasing - moving through closed doors
- Projecting bolts of electricity
- Transforming into heavy metal
- Turning into a demon baby
According to effects supervisor Bill Watral, many of Jack-Jack's powers are effects driven. But achieving the actual effects wasn't the toughest task the team addressed. "One of our biggest challenges with Jack-Jack was maintaining the look of the baby- whether he's turning to goo or on fire," says Watral. "No one wants to see a burning baby, for instance, so we spent a lot of time making sure he was always appealing and funny."
Technological advances allowed Watral and his team to enhance the character's look within effects like flames. "Reading Jack-Jack's face was really important," he says. "We created a shading treatment so that his facial expressions were clear: 'I'm on fire but that's OK! This is fun!' We don't want anyone to forget that this is a baby with powers. The effect shouldn't outshine the humour, which can be harder to achieve than a big explosion."
And then there's demon baby. "Anyone who's been around little kids knows that toddlers can be awful when they're having a tantrum," says supervising animator Dave Mullins. "So seeing that personified in demon baby with big teeth and muscles is just perfect because that's what it feels like when your kid goes off the rails."
Filmmakers made a separate model to represent demon baby Jack-Jack. "We start with Jack-Jack as he's getting mad," says Mullins. "He starts turning red and on one frame of film, we switch to the other model that's been scaled down in size and colour, and scale him up to the full demon baby over the next few frames. It's seamless."
Effects shots like those for Jack-Jack were reviewed in a new way for Incredibles 2 According to shots production manager Michael Warch, simulation, crowds, effects and lighting efforts are traditionally reviewed individually-getting input from the director with each step in the pipeline. For Incredibles 2 the departmental contributions were largely combined, ultimately forming complete sequences that reflected everyone's efforts. "We were able to show [director] Brad [Bird] these sequences at a fairly high level of completion," says Warch.
The change was inspired in part by the condensed schedule when the film's release date was bumped up by a year. But it also played into Bird's approach to animated filmmaking-which is influenced by his live-action background. "He was able to focus more time on the performances within animation," says Warch. "The supervisors of the backend departments were all Pixar veterans who are familiar with Brad's sensibilities, so it made sense to empower them in this way.
"We've flirted with this idea in past features," continues Warch. "But we really embraced it for 'Incredibles 2.'"
The Incredibles 2 world is heavily influenced by mid-century aesthetics, an idea that extends to the costumes-which include supersuits and everyday wear for a bevy of body types and personalities. A team of designers, technicians and shading artists collaborated to create a truly incredible wardrobe-a process that reflects that of live-action costume design.
But the pressure was on. With an iconic character like Edna "E" Mode, whose fashion sense dwarfs that of her fiercest competitors, the artists at Pixar had to showcase impeccable taste and construction when it came to the characters' wardrobes. "Because we have this fashion icon on our show, everything has to look fabulous," says character tailoring lead Fran Kalal. "This is Edna's world and it has to be amazing."
Add to that the distinctive look of the "Incredibles 2" cast. "These characters are pushed so far," says Kalal. "They're designed to wear supersuits. And the supersuits are designed to show off their super powers. So the characters don't really fit in civilian clothing. Putting khakis on Mr. Incredible is weird-and pretty fun."
Filmmakers kicked off efforts by going back to the original film. According to character art director Matt Nolte, the team was able to enhance the original looks, thanks to improvements in technology. "We don't always get to go back and play with iconic characters like the Incredibles," he says. "We wanted to maintain what makes them special, while using the technology available to us now to add more detail and nuance."
With the introduction of new characters, a host of background characters and new costumes for returning characters, artists had to create hundreds of garments for the film. "We looked at vintage catalog patterns and photographs of city streets from 1950 to 1962," says production designer Ralph Eggleston. "We stuck to that era for the background characters, but since 'Incredibles 2' isn't necessarily set in a specific time or place, we took some creative license with the main characters."
Helen aka Elastigirl dons three supersuits, plus her everyday wardrobe. To achieve the right look in Helen's everyday wardrobe, artists sought real-life reference. "Since Helen's pursuing life as a Super again, we looked at iconic career women of the era like Mary Tyler Moore, Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn," says costume designer Bryn Imagire. "We also designed and created accessories like large satchels and sunglasses."
New technology made possible the advanced stretching and shrinking of the fabric in all of the supersuits, which is particularly helpful for Elastigirl. Says Kalal, "She is a high-performance athlete, so we put a lot of time into her suit, ensuring it looked right when she stretches."
Designers were strategic when it came to Helen's multiple supersuits, building one basic suit and varying the shading and logos to create three distinct looks. The strategy required some tweaks to Elastigirl's original suit, shrinking and moving her logo so that it fit within the established template.
The supersuit commissioned by the Deavors is designed by E's competitor, Alexander Galbacki, and features a metallic honeycomb texture. "We looked at vintage wetsuits for inspiration," says Imagire. "And because she spends a lot of time tracking villains in the dark, we had to do something more inconspicuous than her original white and red costume."
The suit is intended to be a little off-putting. "The idea was to make it awkward for Helen to return to this world of fighting crime," says Nolte. "It's a play on the modern super hero movies that have drained the colour from the heroes' suits-what was once bright red and blue is muted red and grayish blue. Helen's new suit is dark and edgy so she can sneak around, but even she thinks it's a little too angsty."
Filmmakers had to determine the likely fabric that would be used to create supersuits- something that would mimic Edna's proprietary blend. "The closest thing we have in our world is a thin neoprene," says Kalal. "It's a cross between neoprene, Kevlar and lycra or spandex-it's comfortable and allows freedom of movement like a gymnast's leotard, but with the strength of Kevlar. It needs to be fabulous with high sheen but still have the look of compression."
- Artists were able to weaken the fabric strategically, creating folding and wrinkling under the arms, around the elbows and behind the knees, for example, to showcase that the Supers are actually wearing garments
- A new addition to our simulation tools, Slide on Surface, was created for "Incredibles 2" to help maintain the look of the logos on the Supers' suits as they bend, twist, flex and move.
When Helen calls home from her hotel room, she's wearing a luxurious white, soft, fluffy robe. "It's super plush and comfortable," says Kalal. "To get this soft and fuzzy look, our shading artist actually grew hairs on the fabric."
Helen's body shape, like all of the Supers, is very pushed to emulate a graphic comic-book-style hero. These shapes look great in supersuits-but are often adjusted for "civilian" clothing. When Helen wears her robe, for example, filmmakers adjust her waist size depending on whether she's sitting or standing to ensure the robe looks natural.
Bob finds that keeping up with three kids, including a toddler with newly revealed super powers, is challenging-and tiring. Filmmakers strategically dressed the character to reflect his state of mind. The more tired Bob gets, the more grays and beiges he wears. His crisp button-up shirt transitions to a crumpled shirt with the sleeves rolled up. But as he begins to take charge again, his wardrobe reflects his newfound confidence with brighter colours and a neater overall look.
However, Bob's Super size made him hard to dress. "Shirts were a real challenge because he's like a giant billboard," says Kalal. "We had to make his clothing grow and shrink dynamically-even in civilian clothes. Details like pockets and patterns are extra challenging, so we were strategic in what sequences we introduced that kind of detail."
Artists had a custom embroidered patch made to get a better idea of what the Incredibles logos would look like and how they might react to stretching. But the sample was just six inches wide. "We had to imagine what it would look like 20 inches across because Bob's chest is gigantic," says Imagire.
Filmmakers had to adjust Bob's Super shape to create a more natural fit in his day-to - day wardrobe. His quads and biceps were reduced to better fit in his civilian clothing, and after a simulation pass, the muscles behaved more like muscles-squashing against the body, which made more room for his clothing.
Violet sports an hourglass shape that was inspired by two force fields-she's shaped like the negative space between two adjacent force fields. "But if you put jeans on that shape, it doesn't look right," says Kalal. "We adjusted her waist size so that her civilian outfits looked good."
Designers took some liberty when it came to the kids' clothing. "The 1950s never felt right for Violet because she's rebellious," says Imagire. "We looked more toward 1960s fashion-rolled-cuff jeans, sweaters and tennis shoes."
Violet's wardrobe mimics the character's arc, which goes from fresh and confident in a pink shirt, to brooding and hiding out in a long- sleeve turtleneck. As her confidence returns, so does her light and bright wardrobe.
Dash keeps it casual. "He's a young boy who hangs out in T-shirts and jeans," says Kalal. "We designed one striped shirt and gave him a few different versions, varying the colour and stripe."
Artists realised that the key to Dash's look was in his waistband. "Too high, and he looks like an old man," says Kalal. "Too low and he looks like he's up to no good."
Jack-Jack inspired artists to showcase his diaper. "Kids in onesies look so cute with their padded butts," says Kalal. "So we simmed his diaper-even when it's under clothing."
The toddler has a few new looks, including a couple onesies and a new supersuit. He also likes to hang out in just his diaper.
Edna, of course, demands the best. Not only did artists have to dress a bevy of Supers, they had to dress Edna herself-a challenge few would dare attempt.
Designers started with a cool kimono. "It was so much fun making Edna a soft, silky robe to wear around her house," says Kalal. "It had to be super luxurious and shiny."
Edna also dons an extraordinary dress in the film that was inspired by Japanese fashion designers like Rei Kawakubo, Eiko Ishioka and Sacai Chitose Abe. "In contrast to the clothes they design and dress their models in, they always seem to be wearing very comfortable clothes," says Imagire.
According to Imagire, the idea behind Edna's dress is a piece of sculpture. "When I thought about specific types of garments-a shirt and pants, or a dress-it seemed too normal for Edna. I wanted it to be more of an abstraction with bold shapes. I also looked at nature-animals, mushrooms, flowers-for inspiration," she says. "It's a very Japanese thing to do."
Imagire played with wire and crumpled up pieces of paper to develop the final look. Says Kalal, "It's an amazing multi-paneled, layered look that looks like folded paper or origami with really graphic seams. We chose neoprene as the fabric of the dress so it would hold its shape."
Winston sticks mostly to his sharkskin suit, while sister Evelyn has a wardrobe to brag about. She sports more of a bohemian style, compared to her brother's corporate couture. "Evelyn has an eclectic fashion style," says Imagire. "We looked at Patti Smith, Diane Keaton and Annie Lennox for inspiration. We liked the idea of classic men's collared shirts that have been feminised a little."
Adds Kalal, "She dresses in luxurious materials like tweed, leather and even faux zebra. But we opted for a more neutral palette, and combined soft elements with masculine cuts so her wardrobe feels varied and interesting."
"Evelyn is independent, smart and relaxed," says Imagire. "She probably doesn't care what people think about her. So whatever she puts on, she wears confidently."
While technology allowed for small crowds in The Incredibles, 14 years later, Incredibles 2 features city-sized crowds and a multitude of background characters. But just because they're in the background doesn't mean that they don't need to be built and dressed.
"Costuming is an opportunity to actually become the character," says Deanna Marsigliese, character and costume designer. "Costume choices should support the storytelling, and if done well, will tell you more about the character and their arc throughout the story. We also have to be efficient-especially when we're working on the background characters. There are literally hundreds of men, women and children in this film."
According to Marsigliese, designers continued the mid-century vibe with the background characters. "I studied sewing patterns from the era to better understand aspects of mid-century design, taking note of the iconic shapes, clean silhouettes and perfectly tailored fit," she says. "The goal for background characters is to define a cohesive look that's iconic and simple without distracting from the principal action on screen. Background characters should add-never detract."
The team created a complete interchangeable wardrobe for each character group, constructing each piece so that it could be adapted to fit a multitude of body types. They could often create multiple looks by combining pieces in different ways, much like those 1950s sewing patterns.
Oscar(r)-winning composer Michael Giacchino returns to the world of the Incredibles with a new score for Incredibles 2 His memorable score for "The Incredibles" is perhaps even more memorable since it was his first-ever feature-film score. Says writer/director Brad Bird, "Michael and I have a very close relationship. He's scored every movie I've done since 'The Incredibles,' and I hope we continue that relationship because I love working with him. I love his work."
Giacchino says "The Incredibles" has a very special place in his heart. "I remember after I got the job, Brad explained that it was important that we worked hand in hand," he says. "This first conversation with him has stuck with me and is really the basis of how I approach a project. I am collaborating with the directors, working together to help them realise their vision of a particular story. I am not working in a vacuum, I am working in one of the most collaborative art forms that exists."
According to Bird, Giacchino is remarkably versatile. "Michael is a musical chameleon," says Bird. "He has many styles at his disposal. In many ways, he is a fellow creator or an actor who's playing a part in the movie."
Having established the now-familiar musical flavour in The Incredibles, Giacchino hit the ground running. "Obviously, this score was going to live within the Incredibles universe that was created 14 years ago," he says. "But I didn't go back and listen to everything that I had done earlier-I wanted to take a fresh approach. Brad and I knew we were going to use the main theme, of course, but I still wanted it to have a different vibe while it stayed in the same vein and character."
The composer, whose 2009 score for Disney-Pixar's Up earned him an Oscar(r), a Golden Globe(r), the BAFTA, the Critics' Choice Award and two GRAMMY(r) Awards, says he's learned a lot in the last 14 years. "Back then I was still figuring out how to make this sound like it came out of the '60s," says Giacchino. "I did that by delving into all the music I loved: Henry Mancini, John Barry and Hoyt Curtin.
"But now I have that arsenal ready," continues Giacchino. "Listeners will know that they are back in Incredibles world-there is that jazz orchestral thing going. But I had more fun trying to use the brass in different ways and utilising the trumpets a lot more this time around. I felt more free this time."
Giacchino created themes for a number of the characters. "I was most excited that I got to write a theme for Elastigirl because she plays a much larger role this time," he says. "Plus, there are several new characters that have themes in the score, so it was great to have an opportunity to contribute a lot of new material."
The composer-turned-song-writer also created end-credit "jingles" featuring theme songs for Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl and Frozone. The jingles were also used in faux vintage toy commercials released in May.
Giacchino, who always records with a full orchestra, did things a little differently when it came time to record the score. "My engineer, Joel Iwataki, suggested that we set the musicians up in a nontraditional way, putting big-band players on one side and strings on the other," says Giacchino. "He wanted to record it like this so that when we mixed it, he could get the big-band sound we wanted. I think it created a terrific sound.
"This gives the soundtrack clarity," continues Giacchino. "Of course you still have the energy you get when you record with all the musicians in the same room. The players liked this setup, too, because all the big-band guys could hear themselves properly. It created a tighter, more groovy feel."
The original motion picture soundtrack will be released by Walt Disney Records on June 15, 2018. The soundtrack features cues from Giacchino's score, plus the jingles. The digital version also features bonus tracks, including Disney Music Group's new a cappella singing sensation DCappella's versions of the jingles, as well as "The Glory Days" from the original soundtrack.
Emmy(r)-winner Craig T. Nelson (voice of Bob Parr/Mr. Incredible) is an actor, writer, director and producer. For six seasons, he portrayed Zeek Braverman, the gregarious patriarch of the large and colourful Braverman family on NBC's critically acclaimed series Parenthood.
In Paramount Pictures' The Book Club, Nelson stars alongside Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen, Andy Garcia, Don Johnson and Richard Dreyfuss. The film follows four lifetime friends in their 60s who read "Fifty Shades of Grey" in their monthly book club and have their lives forever changed.
Nelson starred as Jack Mannion on The District, a drama that was inspired by the experiences of real-life police crime fighter Jack Maple. Mannion was an equal-opportunity antagonist and champion of the underdog who became the new police chief of Washington, D.C., a city in desperate need of a shakedown. The District aired from 2000-2004. Nelson also served as co-executive producer and directed episodes.
In 1997, Nelson completed his eighth and final season on Coach, starring as Hayden Fox. He directed numerous episodes and received three Emmy(r) nominations: 1990, 1991 and 1992 for outstanding lead actor in a comedy series, which led to a win for the 1991-1992 season. He has also been honored by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association with four Golden Globe(r) nominations.
Upon completion of his successful series Coach, Nelson had a chance to vary his projects, including making his Broadway debut as Nat Miller in Eugene O'Neill's Ah, Wilderness! at the Vivian Beaumont Theater/Lincoln Center in the spring of 1998. The show played to rave reviews during its limited run.
Nelson was born in Spokane, Wash. He has always been interested in music, playing drums and guitar in high school and college. Nelson attended the University of Arizona and studied at the Oxford Theater in Los Angeles.
Nelson began his career as a writer/performer on the Lohman and Barkley Show, and his talent as a writer garnered him a Los Angeles Emmy Award. His writing credits include "The Alan King Special" and "The Tim Conway Show."
Nelson's guest-star appearances include a four-episode arc on Netflix's hit Grace and Frankie, Hawaii Five-0, the series finale of Monk, a three-episode arc on CSI:NY, four episodes of My Name Is Earl, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Private Benjamin. He starred in the critically acclaimed series Call to Glory and directed its final episode. His television movies include Showtime's award-winning Dirty Pictures, NBC's Take Me Home Again with Kirk Douglas, Rage, Toast of Manhattan, Alex: The Life of a Child, The Switch, The Fire Next Time and HBO's The Josephine Baker Story. Miniseries include NBC's To Serve and Protect and Creature. He co-hosted with Paula Zahn on the television special The Ultimate Driving Challenge.
Nelson formed Family Tree Productions to develop and produce motion picture and television projects. A special project was the television movie Ride with the Wind. The story revolves around a young boy, and it is one of hope, discovery and recovery. It was scripted by Nelson, who also served as executive producer under the banner of his Family Tree Productions, in association with Hearst Entertainment.
In 2004, Nelson lent his voice to Bob Parr-or as he was known in his super-hero days, Mr. Incredible-in Disney-Pixar's Oscar(r)-winning The Incredibles.
Feature film credits include Gold with Matthew McConaughey; Get Hard with Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart; The Company Men, written and directed by John Wells and also starring Tommy Lee Jones, Ben Affleck, Kevin Costner and Chris Cooper; The Proposal with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds; Blades of Glory with Will Ferrell; The Family Stone with Sarah Jessica Parker and Diane Keaton; The Skulls; All Over Again; The Devil's Advocate with Al Pacino and Keanu Reeves; Ghosts of Mississippi with Whoopi Goldberg, directed by Rob Reiner; I'm Not Rappaport, co-starring Walter Matthau and Ossie Davis; Poltergeist I and Poltergeist II - The Other Side (Nelson contributed to the screenplay); Action Jackson; The Killing Fields; Silkwood; and The Osterman Weekend.
Nelson became enthralled with the art of auto racing as a participant in the 1991 Toyota Pro Celebrity Grand Prix. He formed Screaming Eagles Racing Enterprise in the spring of 1992 and not only owned the team, but drove as well. The team competed in the American City Racing League and the International Motor Sports Association's World Sports Car series. Nelson raced in the Porsche Super Cup Series, May 1994, Monte Carlo, Monaco. The team was disbanded in 1998. The following year he was a guest driver, in a Corvette, in the 100 BF Goodrich Tires Trans Am Series Race at Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, and in the Tenneco Detroit Grand Prix.
Besides his love of show business and music, Nelson's passion for golf is also well-documented. He was a champion amateur golfer in high school and college and has been known to shoot in the low 70s. In the December 2007 issue of Golf Digest, he was ranked fourth out of 100 TV and film stars.
Nelson has three children, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He and his wife, Doria, make their home in Los Angeles.
Academy Award(r)-winning actress Holly Hunter (voice of Helen Parr/Elastigirl) has portrayed a vast array of complex and powerful characters throughout her career. She has been nominated for four Academy Awards(r) for the films Broadcast News, The Firm, The Piano and Thirteen. In 1993, Hunter won the Academy Award and the award for best actress at the Cannes Film Festival for her performance in The Piano. In 2008, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2009, she was awarded the Women in Film Lucy Award.
Most recently, Hunter starred in Alan Ball's HBO series Here and Now alongside Tim Robbins. She co-starred in The Big Sick, directed by Michael Showalter, produced by Judd Apatow and Barry Mendel, and starring Kumail Nanjiani, Ray Romano and Zoe Kazan. The film, which premiered to rave reviews at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, was released by Amazon and Lionsgate in New York and Los Angeles on June 23, 2017, with a wide release on July 14, 2017. The film went on to win the Critics' Choice Award for best comedy, and was nominated for best original screenplay at the 90th Academy Awards(r) and recognized as one of the top ten films of the year by the American Film Institute. For her supporting role, Hunter was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award(r) and Independent Spirit Award, and she was honored with a Career Achievement Award at the 2018 Palm Springs International Film Festival.
In 2017, Hunter starred in Strange Weather, a drama about a mother (Hunter) who, in an effort to deal with the grief over the death of her son, travels the back roads of the Deep South to settle a score. The film, directed by Katherine Dieckmann, also starred Carrie Coon. Strange Weather premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2016 and was officially released in the U.S. by IFC on July 28, 2017.
Hunter appears with Tony Shalhoub in Breakable You. Premiering at the 2017 Palm Springs International Film Festival, the film doesn't yet have an official release.
In 2016, Hunter was seen in the box-office hit Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, released by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film also starred Ben Affleck, Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Henry Cavill and Jesse Eisenberg. Hunter played Senator Finch, who is on the committee leading an investigation into Superman.
In 2015, Hunter was seen co-starring in the film Manglehorn opposite Al Pacino and directed by David Gordon Green. Manglehorn premiered at the 2014 Venice Film Festival and was also featured at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. The film was released in June by IFC. Also in 2015, Hunter was seen onstage in the revival of David Rabe's Tony(r) -winning play Sticks and Bones opposite Richard Chamberlain, Nadia Gan, Morocco Omari, Bill Pullman, Ben Schnetzer and Raviv Ullman. Directed by Scott Elliott (Hurlyburly), the show opened to rave reviews at The New Group Theater in October and closed in mid-December.
In 2013, Hunter was seen in the Sundance Channel series Top of the Lake, co-starring Elisabeth Moss, written and directed by Academy Award(r)-winner Jane Campion and co-directed by Garth Davis. Hunter played GJ, a guru at a local women's camp who becomes involved in the investigation into the disappearance of a 12-year-old girl who is five months pregnant. Hunter's performance garnered her a Screen Actor's Guild Award(r) nomination for outstanding performance by a female actor in a television movie or miniseries.
Additionally in 2013, Hunter co-starred in Paradise, written and directed by Diablo Cody, opposite Julianne Hough, Russell Brand, Nick Offerman and Octavia Spencer. The comedy follows a young conservative woman suffering a crisis of faith after surviving a plane crash. Hunter also co -starred in the Lifetime/History series Bonnie & Clyde, which also starred William Hurt, Emile Hirsch and Holliday Grainger.
In 2007, Hunter made her television series debut in TNT's edgy drama, Saving Grace which earned her nominations for two Emmy(r) Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards(r) and a Golden Globe(r) for best lead actress in a drama series. Hunter starred as a tormented, fast-living Oklahoma City police detective who took self-destruction to new heights. Directed by Sergio Mimica-Gezzan and written and produced by Nancy Miller (co-executive producer of The Closer), Saving Grace ended after four seasons in 2010.
In 2005, Hunter starred in the independent drama Nine Lives, directed by Rodrigo Garcia. Nine Lives is a series of vignettes that offered glimpses into the lives of nine women. The film also starred Kathy Baker, Glenn Close and Sissy Spacek.
Hunter last appeared onstage in 2004 in Marina Carr's By the Bog of Cats, directed by Dominic Cooke at Wyndham's Theater in London. Hunter played Hester Swane, an Irish traveler who is tormented by the memory of a mother who deserted her. In 2001, Hunter starred in the American premiere of the play at the San Jose Repertory Theatre in California.
In 2003, Hunter was nominated for an Academy Award(r) for her role as a mother dealing with her daughter's wild behaviour in the film Thirteen, directed by Catherine Hardwicke. Hunter was also honored with nominations from the Hollywood Foreign Press, SAG(r), BAFTA and the Broadcast Film Critics Association. That same year, Hunter was seen in the film Levity, starring with Morgan Freeman and Billy Bob Thornton. Directed by Ed Solomon, Levity opened the 2003 Sundance Film Festival.
In 2001, Hunter starred in ABC's When Billie Beat Bobby, where she portrayed tennis legend Billie Jean King in the 1973 "Battle of the Sexes" tennis match between King and Wimbledon champion Bobby Riggs. The role garnered Hunter an Emmy(r) nomination for best actress in a television miniseries or movie.
In 2000, Hunter was nominated for an Emmy(r) for her role in Showtime's Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her. The film, which tells stories about love and loss in the lives of five women, won an award in Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival and also screened at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival. Hunter also starred in Showtime's original movie Harlan County War, for which she garnered both an Emmy and Golden Globe(r) nomination for lead actress in a miniseries or movie. Also in 2000, Hunter appeared in the Coen brothers' film O Brother, Where Art Thou? with George Clooney and John Turturro, as well as Mike Figgis' Timecode. In 1999, Hunter starred in Jesus' Son, released by Lionsgate, opposite Billy Crudup. In 1998, she starred in New Line Cinema's adult comedy Living Out Loud opposite Danny DeVito, Elias Koteas and Queen Latifah.
In 1993, Hunter received the Academy Award(r) for her performance as a mute Scottish widow in Jane Campion's The Piano. She received the Cannes Film Festival Award, the British Academy Film Award, the New York Film Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award, the National Board of Review Award and a Golden Globe(r), all for Best Actress. That same year, Hunter garnered an Academy Award nomination for her performance as the investigative secretary in The Firm, based on the John Grisham novel.
In 1987, Hunter was nominated for an Academy Award(r) for her portrayal of a driven producer in the feature film Broadcast News. She received the New York Film Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award, the National Board of Review Award and the Berlin Film Festival Award, all for best actress.
Film credits include The Incredibles, Little Black Book, The Big White, Home for the Holidays, Copycat, Once Around, Always, Raising Arizona, Crash and A Life Less Ordinary.
In 1982, Hunter made her Broadway debut in Beth Henley's Crimes of the Heart followed by The Wake of Jamey Foster. Other New York stage appearances include The Miss Firecracker Contest, Battery, The Person I Once Was, A Weekend Near Madison and Impossible Marriage.
Hunter co-produced and starred in Beth Henley's Control Freaks and produced Ray Barry's Mother'Son at the Met Theatre in Los Angeles.
Her television work includes HBO's The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom, for which she won the Emmy(r) for best actress. This role also garnered her a Golden Globe(r) nomination. Hunter was awarded the Emmy(r) for her role as Jane Roe in NBC's "Roe vs. Wade."
Hunter resides in New York.
Sarah Vowell (voice of Violet Parr) is a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times. She is the author of seven nonfiction books about American history and culture: "Lafayette in the Somewhat United States," about the Marquis de Lafayette and the Franco-American alliance in the Revolutionary War; "Unfamiliar Fishes," about the Americanization of Hawaii; "The Wordy Shipmates," about the Puritan founders of New England; "Assassination Vacation," about historical sites of presidential murder; "Radio On," a listener's diary of the year 1995; and the essay collections "The Partly Cloudy Patriot" and "Take the Cannoli."
In 2017, Vowell was the editor, along with twelve Bay Area high school students, of the anthology "The Best American Nonrequired Reading." She was an original contributor to McSweeney's. From 2004 to 2014, Vowell was the first president of the Brooklyn nonprofit 826NYC. She was a contributing editor for public radio's "This American Life" from 1996-2008.
Brad Bird cast her as the voice of teenager Violet Parr in 2004's "The Incredibles" after hearing one of her radio documentaries on his local public radio station-here's hoping he pledged.
Huckleberry Milner (voice of Dashiell "Dash" Parr) lives in Manhattan and has been acting in local plays since he was 4. Outside of acting, he enjoys hockey, skiing, playing the bass, and having fun with his two sisters, 21 cousins, 11 aunts and uncles and four grandparents.
Milner loves the Broadway show "Hamilton" and learning about American history. He is a big fan of "Star Wars," Legos, and also likes to spend time helping out at his parents' restaurants.
Catherine Keener (voice of Evelyn Deavor), two-time Academy Award(r) nominee (Capote, Being John Malkovich), continues to be a dominant force on-screen, appearing in the critically acclaimed box-office hit Get Out from Universal and Jordan Peele. Keener can also be seen opposite Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro in Black Label Media's Sicario sequel, Sicario: Day of the Soldado, written by Taylor Sheridan and directed by Stefano Sollima.
She was also recently seen opposite Oscar Isaacs in Show Me a Hero, a six-part miniseries for HBO, written by David Simon and directed by Paul Haggis, and before that in longtime collaborator and acclaimed director Nicole Holofcener's Enough Said, alongside Julia Louise-Dreyfus and James Gandolfini. Keener voiced the role of "Ugga" in the 2013 animated hit The Croods, for DreamWorks Animation with a sequel set to premiere in 2018, and was previously in Begin Again, written and directed by John Carney, alongside Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley.
Bob Odenkirk (voice of Winston Deavor) is an Emmy(r) Award-winning comedy writer, producer, actor and New York Times best-selling author. For his work on "Saturday Night Live", Odenkirk garnered an Emmy for outstanding writing in a variety or music program in 1989. Rolling Stone magazine recently named "The Motivational Speaker" sketch Odenkirk wrote for friend Chris Farley, which originated at Second City in Chicago, as the best SNL sketch of all time. In 1993, Odenkirk earned another Emmy for writing on The Ben Stiller Show. In 2015, Odenkirk reprised the character he originated on the hit drama Breaking Bad, playing the title role in AMC's Better Call Saul, which has earned him two Critics' Choice TV awards and nominations for an Emmy, Golden Globe(r) and SAG Award(r). The third season of the acclaimed drama premiered in April 2017.
Odenkirk co-created and starred in Mr. Show with Bob and David, which ran on HBO for four years and was called "the American Monty Python". As an actor, he has brought many film and television characters to life, including Stevie Grant" in The Larry Sanders Show, ex-porn star Gil Bang in Curb Your Enthusiasm, Ross Grant in Alexander Payne's acclaimed feature Nebraska, and Bill Oswalt on the FX series Fargo.
Odenkirk has been instrumental in helping emerging comedy writer/performers get their work on the air. He was an executive producer of Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim's first Adult Swim series, Tom Goes to the Mayor, and was a consultant on their subsequent shows Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! and Check It Out! with Dr. Steve Brule. In 2013, Odenkirk teamed up with a young comedy group to executive produce their sketch show The Birthday Boys on IFC, which ran for two seasons.
In 2016, Odenkirk was seen in the four-part sketch show W/ Bob and David, which he starred in and executive produced with David Cross. He was most recently seen in Girlfriend's Day for Netflix. He can be seen alongside Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks in Steven Spielberg's The Post.
Odenkirk also co-wrote, along with David Cross and Brian Posehn, the New York Times best seller "Hollywood Said No!" a collection of their unproduced screenplays. In October 2014, McSweeny's Internet Tendency published a book of Odenkirk's comedy writing titled "A Load of Hooey."
Appearing in more than 100 films, Samuel L. Jackson (voice of Lucius Best/Frozone) is one of the most respected actors in Hollywood. Jackson's portrayal of Jules the philosopher hit man in Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction made an indelible mark on American cinema. In addition to unanimous critical acclaim, Jackson received Academy Award(r) and Golden Globe(r) nominations, as well as a best supporting actor award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
In January 2019, Jackson will star in Glass, the follow-up to M. Night Shyamalan's iconic film Unbreakable, with Bruce Willis and James McAvoy. Jackson wrapped production on the Shaft reboot, Son of Shaft, and is filming Captain Marvel, opposite Brie Larson.
In 2017, Jackson starred in Lionsgate's The Hitman's Bodyguard with Ryan Reynolds, Salma Hayek and Gary Oldman, as well as Warner Bros.' Kong: Skull Island with Brie Larson and Tom Hiddleston. In 2015, Jackson appeared in Quentin Tarantino's Oscar(r)-nominated Western, The Hateful Eight, as Major Marquis Warren, alongside Walton Goggins, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Kurt Russell. That same year, Jackson appeared in Matthew Vaughn's Kingsman: The Secret Service and Spike Lee's Chi-Raq.
In 2016, Jackson was seen in David Yates' The Legend of Tarzan, starring alongside Alexander Skarsgård, Margot Robbie and Christoph Waltz, as well as Tim Burton's Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. Also in 2016, Jackson completed production on Brie Larson's directorial debut, Unicorn Store; The Last Full Measure with Sebastian Stan, Christopher Plummer and Ed Harris; and Dan Fogelman's Life Itself.
In 2012, Jackson co-starred in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained with Christoph Waltz, Jamie Foxx and Leonardo DiCaprio. Jackson also starred in The Avengers, which is part of his nine-picture deal with Marvel Studios. He reprised his role in both Marvel's Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which was released in April 2014, and the 2015 sequel Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Jackson made his Broadway debut in 2011 at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater in "The Mountaintop," in which he portrayed Martin Luther King Jr. The play, directed by Kenny Leon, also starred Angela Bassett.
Upon his graduation from Morehouse College in Atlanta with a degree in dramatic arts, Jackson's career began onstage. Among the plays were "Home," "A Soldier's Play," "Sally/Prince" and "The District Line." He also originated roles in two of August Wilson's plays at Yale Repertory Theatre. For the New York Shakespeare Festival, Jackson appeared in "Mother Courage and Her Children," "Spell #7" and "The Mighty Gents."
Jackson's film credits also include RoboCop, Oldboy, Mother and Child, Iron Man 2, HBO's The Sunset Limited, Lakeview Terrace, Soul Men, The Spirit, Jumper, Resurrecting the Champ, 1408, Black Snake Moan, Snakes on a Plane, Freedomland, Coach Carter, Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, The Incredibles, S.W.A.T., Changing Lanes, Formula 51, Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones, The Caveman's Valentine, Eve's Bayou, Unbreakable, Rules of Engagement, Shaft, Deep Blue Sea, Star Wars Episode I - The Phantom Menace, The Negotiator, The Red Violin, Jackie Brown, 187, A Time to Kill, Die Hard with a Vengeance, Jungle Fever, Sphere, The Long Kiss Goodnight, Ragtime, Sea of Love, Coming to America, Do the Right Thing, School Daze, Mo' Better Blues, Goodfellas, Patriot Games and True Romance.
On the small screen, Jackson served as executive producer for the Spike TV animated series Afro Samurai, which premiered in 2007. The series received an Emmy(r) nomination for outstanding animated program from the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences. The first edition of the Afro Samurai video game launched in February 2009.
On television, in addition to The Sunset Limited, Jackson starred in John Frankenheimer's Emmy(r)-winning Against the Wall for HBO. His performance earned him a Cable Ace nomination as best supporting actor in a movie or miniseries, as well as a Golden Globe(r) nomination.
Sophia Bush (voice of Voyd) is an American actress, activist, entrepreneur and global education access advocate. She was recently seen in Acts of Violence opposite Bruce Willis, and Marshall, directed by Reggie Hudlin, which hit theaters in October 2017.
Over the course of her career, Bush has captured film and television audiences alike with the diverse characters she portrays. For nine seasons, she portrayed the fan favourite Brooke Davis on The CW's hit drama One Tree Hill, evolving from a troublemaking bad girl to a fiercely loyal friend and entrepreneur. Bush starred as Detective Erin Lindsay for four seasons of Dick Wolf's Chicago PD, and appeared opposite David Krumholtz, Michael Urie and Brandon Routh in the CBS comedy Partners.
Bush starred opposite Sean Bean in the remake of the classic horror film The Hitcher, produced by Michael Bay for Focus Features. She starred in Serenade Films' The Narrows, the independent comedy Table for Three and the feature film Chalet Girl opposite Bill Nighy and Brooke Shields. Previously, Bush starred in 20th Century Fox's hit comedy John Tucker Must Die alongside Brittany Snow. She also starred in the thriller Stay Alive opposite Frankie Muniz and Adam Goldberg.
Bush has earned multiple Teen Choice Awards in the categories of Choice Movie Actress: Comedy, Choice Movie Actress: Horror/Thriller and Choice Movie: Breakout Female. In addition, she received the Rising Star Award at the Vail Film Festival, the New Hollywood Style Icon Award at the Hollywood Style Awards and the Bing Philanthropy Award at the Young Hollywood Awards.
Off screen, Bush is also an early-stage tech investor, who looks to bolster companies that create innovation and efficiency in people's lives. She counts PenPal Schools, Uber, StyleSeat, Mark 43 and THINX among investments she calls lifehacks.
Named one of the most charitable celebrities by CNN, Bush devotes her free time to bettering girls' education and the environment. She inspires millions as she uses her personal platform and social media influence to raise awareness and funds for great causes. Since taking to social media to share her passion for change, Bush has inspired young people to join her in raising nearly half a million dollars for charity, built three primary schools in Guatemala and Laos, and now serves as a global ambassador for Glamour's The Girl Project. Her focus with The Girl Project is to break down the barriers the girls face to secondary school education. They are currently working in 96 countries around the world.
Isabella Rossellini (voice of Ambassador), a multifaceted artist, made her cinematic debut as an actress in 1979 in the Taviani brothers' film Il Prato (The Meadow) and has appeared in numerous other films, including the American features Blue Velvet, White Nights, Roger Dodger, Cousins, Death Becomes Her, Fearless, Infamous, Big Night, Late Bloomers, Enemy, Two Lovers and Joy. She will next be seen in Silent Life and Vita and Virginia.
Rossellini is also a successful television actress and filmmaker, with a keen interest in animals and wildlife conservation. Her award-winning series of shorts, "Green Porno", "Seduce Me" and "Mammas," offer comical and scientifically insightful studies of animal behaviour. Her numerous awards and nominations include the Independent Spirit Award for best female lead, Women in Film Courage Award amd Golden Globe(r) and Emmy(r) nominations. In 2010, Rossellini was honored at the Savannah Film Festival for her oustanding achiement in cinema; 2013, she was awarded with the Berlinale Camera from the Berlin International Film Festival.
Rossellini can be seen on stage in her new theatrical show "Link Link Circus," which she recently performed in Barcelona and will perform in New York City. Written and performed by the Golden Globe(r)-nominated actress, "Link Link Circus," co-starring a dog named Pan, is at once comic and scientifically informed. Over the course of the performance, Rossellini transforms into Aristotle, Descartes, a medieval theologian, B.F. Skinner and Charles Darwin-discussing the essence of human beings and what distinguishes us from the "brutes." Darwin, in his theory of evolution, linked humans to non-humans, demonstrating that there is a continuum between animals and humans.
For some, this idea is still offensive. While physical continuity is more accepted, cognitive continuity is mostly rejected.
Rossellini's most recent work for television includes "Master of Photography" for European broadcaster SKY, and the American series "Shut Eye" for Hulu. Additional credits include "The Blacklist," "Treme," "The Phantom," "30 Rock," "Alias," "Napoleon," "Merlin," "Chicago Hope" and "Crime of the Century."
Rossellini has written numerous books including "Some of Me" and "In the Name of the Father, the Daughter and the Holy Spirits: Remembering Roberto Rossellini." Her latest book, "My Chickens and I," was released by Abrams in March 2018. In 2016, Rossellini returned to Lancéme as one of its new spokespeople, three decades after she was first hired by the beauty brand.
Rossellini is completing a master's degree in animal behaviour and conservation at Hunter College in New York City, and has received a Ph.D. honoris causa from the Science Faculty at UQAM (University of Quebec at Montreal). She runs an organic farm in Brookhaven in association with the Peconic Land Trust and the Post Morrow Foundation. She is a mother of two and resides in Bellport, Long Island.
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