Sure, the pantheon of Disney films is filled with some truly iconic classics, but it's also full of underrated gems that no one's thought about in years.
One of those films is Sky High, the 2005 movie about a high school for superheroes. This was a comic book offering way before its time, and if it had been released today, a sequel would almost certainly be greenlit. Speaking with i09, director Mike Mitchell (the man also behind the upcoming Lego Movie sequel) talked about an awesome-sounding follow-up that never happened.
“I am hugely proud of it and they should make it a franchise,” he said. “In fact the same writers that didn’t get credit on it, [Jonathan] Aibel and [Glenn] Berger, they did a lot of writing on that film, and we have a whole sequel that’s called Save U [which stands for] Save University.”
OK, so what if Sky High was a bit cheesy? The plot was totally original, it featured a kazoo-filled cover of "I Melt with You" from Bowling for Soup, and it had a totally knockout cast: Kurt Russell, Kelly Preston, Lynda Carter, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Cloris Leachman, Kevin McDonald, Dave Foley, Kevin Heffernan, and Bruce Campbell.
Mitchell is aware of how awesome this lineup is and would refuse to make Save University unless the main actors were to reprise their original roles.
"The only way you can do it is if you bring back all [the actors],” he added. “Mary Elizabeth Winstead has to be in it. Michael Angarano, Kurt Russell has to come back. But that was such a fun film to make.”
Interestingly, Mitchell also revealed that Disney had plans to turn the film into a TV series with everyone coming back (save for Russell and Preston), but the movie's underperformance at the box office — $86 million against a $35 budget — put the kibosh on that plan. Which title did Sky High lose to that July? Tim Burton's remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Even so, it was enough to gain the attention of comic book fans who, in the mid-2000s, were not entirely pleased with superhero-based comedies.
Per Mitchell: “There was the Ben Stiller movie, Mystery Men, and people were like, ‘No, thank you.’ My Super Ex-Girlfriend? That was [another]. A bunch of parodies were happening and the comic book fans were not into it. And I think with Sky High they could tell that we loved comic books, and we’re just having fun in that world. I’m so thankful that everyone noticed it.”
Come on, Disney — the time is right to resurrect this cult classic!
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part opens in theaters Feb. 8.