Over the years, Brad Bird‘s ‘The Iron Giant’ has become a beloved cult classic, but many forget that back when it was released in theaters in 1999, it was a huge flop that helped hammer the last nail in the traditional cel animation coffin as computer animation became the norm. But the heartwarming tale of a misfit boy and his towering robotic companion would connect with fans who discovered it via TV airings and home video.
Thanks to the ever-growing fanbase, in 2015, the film was re-released in theaters for a one-off event, featuring two newly animated scenes. In 2016, a deluxe Blu-Ray edition was also released. Fans hoped that the new scenes might indicate that further work was being done and that perhaps the film would finally get a sequel.
But that’s not going to happen, according to director Bird. And his reasoning is pretty straightforward. As he posted on Twitter:
Two simple answers:
1) On its original release, the film was a financial flop.
2) There’s no need. The first one tells the story I set out to tell. Some stories actually end with THE END. https://t.co/astSVTaONB
— Brad Bird (@BradBirdA113) July 25, 2018
Not everything needs to be a franchise. Sometimes a movie is best left alone, rather than saddled with a weak sequel. Then again, Bird’s latest, ‘The Incredibles 2’ is by most accounts a worthy successor to another of his beloved works. If anyone could make it work, it would be Bird, but perhaps it’s best to just leave this one alone. Bird himself has expressed that he is not a fan of sequels in general, so that’s another reason not to revisit ‘The Iron Giant’.
If fans really need a fix, The Iron Giant appears in a climactic action sequence in ‘Ready Player One’ which arrives on DVD and Blu-Ray Tuesday July 31.