Incredibles 2 writer-director Brad Bird banned three-point landings — a.k.a. “superhero landings” — from the super sequel.
“You see it in everything,” Incredibles 2 story supervisor Ted Mathot told Screen Crush. “And Brad was like ‘I do not want to see any three-point landings!’”
The ban was “kind of a joke,” Mathot explained, but one the filmmakers respected. “When we’d draw something, we’d have to come up with some other way for them to land.”
The trope was famously lampooned in R-rated Marvel adaptation Deadpool in 2016, where the mouthy anti-hero (played by Ryan Reynolds) points out superpowered bad guy Angel Dust (Gina Carano) is “gonna do a superhero landing.”
When the superstrong henchwoman leaps from up high, landing with her fist and knee pressed into the earth, Deadpool cheers, “Whoo! Superhero landing!” Then, addressing the audience, “You know, that’s really hard on your knees. Totally impractical, they all do it.”
A compilation of the overused trope was published to YouTube in 2012, where it has been viewed more than 1.1 million times. In it, it shows the three-point landing flourish as seen in everything from Iron Man 2 and The Avengers to Blade and Spider-Man 2.
Unlike Edna Mode’s well-known ‘no capes’ mandate — erected more in the matter of safety — the ‘no three-point landings’ ban comes as another way for the Pixar production to differentiate itself from its comic book-inspired competition.
Bird already acknowledged how 14-years-later sequel Incredibles 2 comes at a time where superhero movies are the dominating force in Hollywood, a reality the 2004 original wasn’t forced to combat:
“On some level it's kinda like going out to the football field and there's been way too many games on it, you know? And there's this kind of dry dirt with a few sprigs of grass and everyone thinks it's kinda clunky and life doesn't grow there anymore,” Bird told journalists during a press event at Pixar Animation Studios earlier this year.
“So, there's that aspect where you feel like, ‘Oh Jesus, it's really been covered.’ It kind of reminds me of the way Westerns were in the late '50s, where if you had a television 95 percent of what was on was the Westerns.”
Despite the influx of superhero movies and interconnected universes like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, launched in 2008, and the DC Extended Universe, launched in 2013, Bird said Incredibles 2 will stand out because of its storytelling and fresh perspective.
“It’s easy to freak out and go, ‘Why even try? Everybody's got everything done to death,’” Bird said.
“But then again I return to what makes us unique and it's this idea of a family. And that superheroes have to hide their abilities and those things actually are unique to us and there's plenty left to explore.”
Incredibles 2 opens June 15.