'Incredibles 2' stars think their sequel is helping to lead the female superhero movement

Nick Schager

Brad Bird reassembles the Parr family for more animated super-adventuring in Incredibles 2, his long-awaited follow-up to Pixar’s beloved 2004 hit. This time around, the clan is tasked with stopping an evildoer known as the Screenslaver who hypnotizes victims via their screens. At the forefront of that crusade is Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), who sets out to stop the baddie — and, in the process, overturn a law outlawing superheroes — while her husband, Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson), stays at home with the kids. It’s a role-reversal that enlivens the film’s humor and action, and in our chat with the cast, they say they’re proud that their sequel is part of the upswing in female-driven superhero adventures.

While humorously contending that Wonder Woman and the forthcoming Captain Marvel — alongside Incredibles 2 — only barely constitute a true movement, Hunter contends, in regard to the animated film’s celebration of Elastigirl’s superheroism, “We need to see much more of this, because there are tons of different ways of expressing a woman in a position of this kind of power, this kind of adventure, this kind of autonomy. There’s millions of stories.” Co-star Sophia Bush agrees, saying, “I think it’s about time. … Having men who are allies and supporters and understand that we are 51 percent of the population — we deserve to have our stories told 50 percent of the time.” Catherine Keener, meanwhile, thinks it’s great that the film’s treatment of gender is multifaceted, with Elastigirl and Mr. Incredible proving their worth both in battle and on the domestic home front: “The point is that they’re actually both capable of doing both things, which I think is a good thing to tell people.”

To hear more of what Hunter, Nelson, Bush, Keener, Bob Odenkirk, and Samuel L. Jackson have to say about the way Incredibles 2 handles its gender issues, check out our video above. The film is in theaters on Friday, June 15.

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