This morning, in an amazing Facebook Live video (that you can still watch), it was announced that a sequel to Wreck-It Ralph will arrive in theaters on March 9, 2018. Right after the video was posted, I sat down with directors Rich Moore and Phil Johnston and star John C. Reilly, to talk about how hard it was keeping the film a secret, what to expect from the sequel, and what it’s like returning to the wild world of Wreck-It Ralph.
You can finally talk about it now!
John C. Reilly: Yeah I didn’t have a problem talking about it before.
Rich Moore: Now you’re at a loss for words!
John C. Reilly: It’s great. It was actually a really nice feeling driving in here today. It was like, It’s really finally happening!
Is it fun getting back into this world?
Rich Moore: We’re just starting!
John C. Reilly: Well, this Facebook Live is about as much as I’ve gotten back into character.
Rich Moore: We did a table read.
John C. Reilly: You’re right – that was really fun!
Phil Johnston: Yeah, we did a table read about six months ago. So Rich and I have been getting deep into what’s happening next and we’re trying to save John, so he can just come in fresh.
You guys were working on this before Zootopia. And was John involved then?
John C. Reilly: I keep asking to be involved. I write emails, people don’t write me back.
Phil Johnston: I always right you back.
Rich Moore: You’re right. I’m bad.
John C. Reilly: The process of making the movie the first time was found in the recording sessions. The script is one thing and what we used to tell the story, but all the horsing around that I do specifically, in performance, happens in collaboration with these guys in the recording studio.
Rich Moore: And after the table read you got to sit in on the story trust meeting.
John C. Reilly: Yeah that was really cool but I must have messed that up because I haven’t been invited back.
Rich Moore: Well we haven’t had another one since!
John C. Reilly: It was actually amazing. It felt like being in the Situation Room at the White House. It was like, Wow, this is how they do it! And there’s so many people in the room.
Did you contribute?
John C. Reilly: Yeah, I contributed. I love the collegial feeling here. Before I signed on to do the first movie, I thought it was this really controlled environment and it would be hard to be creative here. But the opposite is true. Especially since Lasseter has been running the ship. These meetings are so cool because it’s really positive and constructive and people from any part of the company can come in and give ideas and give feedback. You end up coming up with a lot of cool stuff. Instead of just making it in a bubble.
Have people come up to you in the past few years asking when the sequel is coming?
John C. Reilly: People are constantly asking me! That’s why I got in trouble saying yes. Nobody at Disney said, “Don’t say anything.” When we concluded the agreement that we were going to do it, I was like, “Alright!” I just so happened to be doing a live show on Irish radio at the time. And they said, “Are you going to do Wreck-It Ralph 2?” And I said, “Yeah, it’s official today.” These journalists, they always try to trick you into saying stuff. I’m usually good at it. But this one girl came in and before the interview started said, “Off the record, I’m a huge fan of the first movie. Do you think you’ll do another one?” And I said, “Yeah we are doing another one.” And of course the entire article is about the fact that we were doing another one. But now I’m free!
We also got the announcement that Phil will be directing the movie with Rich.
Phil Johnston: Horrible mistake.
Rich Moore: Yeah I’m kind of regretting it. We decided that about a month and a half ago and it was the worst decision I ever made in my life.
Phil Johnston: I’m a tyrant.
Rich Moore: He’s ruining the movie.
John C. Reilly: This is all very usable on Disney.com!
Rich Moore: Phil had such insight into the characters and the world and boy was I wrong. As a writer he’s okay, but once you give him the cloak of director, he just becomes another man.
Phil Johnston: I haven’t changed.
Rich Moore: I’m kidding. It’s been so great.
John, are you excited to work with Phil again?
John C. Reilly: Yeah we’re always trying to find something to do together, even beyond this movie we’re always throwing ideas back and forth. I think we like each other and respect each other and are inspired by each other.
Phil Johnston: People around the studio talk about the “Ralph Room,” the Ralph writer’s room, as a place of anarchy and chaos. Like, “Oh my gosh did you go to the Ralph Room?” It’s so fun.
John C. Reilly: It’s very much in the spirit of Ralph.
Without giving anything away, what can people expect from the sequel?
Rich Moore: The relationship between Vanellope and Ralph, we’re going to see that again, and the comedy that comes with the two of them. We’re going to see their friendship tested by getting to the Internet. So everything you loved about the first one and a whole lot more.
The Wreck-It Ralph sequel arrives on March 9, 2018.