Director and writer Brad Bird changed the Incredibles 2 villain after the film had started production.
The filmmaker helmed The Incredibles back in 2004 and returned for the sequel, already knowing that he intended to switch the roles between Bob and Helen – with Helen this time acting the hero while Bob looks after the children at home.
Though Bird had his core concept nailed, he admitted that the villain he originally decided on did not fit the plot once work had began.
“I got about five months in and realised that idea wasn't going to serve the core idea very well. So that villain story was always changing,” he explained in an interview with Den of Geek. “But the core of the story in the first movie is not about the villain. The core of this movie isn't about the villain either - it's about the family and what's going on with them. Their reaction to the situations that are happening to them.”
The 60-year-old initially envisioned an artificial intelligence-based baddie but ultimately decided this was “too complicated,” and eventually decided on creating a villain called the Screenslaver, a mysterious being that brainwashes its victims via electronic screens.
“I thought, that's a really good thing to have them hypnotise people, because they are everywhere,” he shared. “They can be on monitors and planes and trains. They can be in people's homes. It's a way for the villain to expand the reach. So it seemed serviceable.”
The Ratatouille director added that he was often puzzled by some of the “tedious” interpretations of his most beloved animated flicks.
“After Iron Giant, I was the big lefty who was trying to apologise or make Russia seem like it was friendly to some very misguided reviewers,” he recalled. “Then I became the right-wing darling with Incredibles, where it was seen as being elitist, which I thought was a misread of The Incredibles. Then of course I was a lefty again with my food-loving, French-hugging Ratatouille.”