Disney+ ‘Elemental’ Franchise Reportedly in the Works at Pixar, Sequel Imminent

in Disney, Entertainment

Wade and Ember in Pixar's 'Elemental'

Credit: Pixar

Following the unprecedented success of Pixar’s Elemental (2023), it sounds like Disney could be planning a potential follow-up film, as well as an original spinoff series following the adventures of Ember and Wade.

Fire and Water in Disney's 'Elemental'
Credit: Disney

Related: ‘Elemental,’ Pixar’s Biggest “Failure,” is Disney’s Biggest Post-Pandemic Success

After Pixar released their latest blockbuster, Elemental, back in June, it was quickly dubbed one of the studio’s biggest box office bombs of all time. Safe to say, no one saw it coming when, over the following weeks, Elemental beat the odds and not only broke even on its $250 million budget but also established itself as one of the top-grossing original IPs in Pixar history.

It’s hard to say why or how Disney and Pixar managed to pull off Elemental‘s impressive recovery, but in a statement released last month, the studio attributed its gradual recovery to international ticket sales, piqued interest thanks to work of mouth, and the holiday weekend, claiming its slow opening week was a rare fluke for a studio as renowned as Pixar.

wade whipple eating in elemental disney
Credit: Disney Studios

Related: Pixar CEO Takes Aim at Non-Disney Studios, Defends Mind-Boggling Movie Budgets

Elemental‘s family-friendly rating also brought in viewers in droves, with movie theaters not offering many films geared toward younger audiences at the time of its release. Needless to say, the conditions were there all along for the feel-good flick to score big with audiences—it just needed a little time.

So even though its June debut might’ve been “more spark than fire,” Elemental kept the fire going both at the box office and with critics, with the movie sitting at a comfortable 74% Tomatometer score on Rotten Tomatoes and a 93% with audiences.

pixar elemental fire Disneyland resort smoke and fire
Credit: Pixar

Directed by Peter Sohn, the animated film follows the fiery Ember (Leah Lewis) and the go-with-the-flow Wade (Mamoudou Athie) in a colorful romp around Element City as their unlikely romance challenges each of their beliefs about the world they live in.

Now that the movie has crossed the $400 million mark as of this month, it looks like Disney is already mapping out where the Elemental universe might go next—and it could be coming sooner than expected.

Cast of Elemental enjoying a movie in a theater, al wearing sunglasses
Credit: Pixar

With Elemental now available on all major digital platforms spare for Disney+, it looks like the company already has its sights set on the future. According to Hollywood insider Jeff Block of Exhibitors Relations Co. (via The Town with Matthew Belloni podcast), Pixar is reportedly eyeing an Elemental spinoff series, and by the sounds of it, a sequel could be in development:

Disney is also going to turn this into a D+ series, I’ve already heard. And there might even be an ‘Elemental’ sequel.

ember in pixar movie elemental
Credit: Disney

This isn’t the first time speculation of an Elemental follow-up has been mentioned, either. Speaking with The Direct in June, Elemental writer Kat Likkel revealed that there was an early idea for a sequel tease involving Ember and Wade’s “steam baby,” which would confirm that the couple had a baby at some point during their travels before returning to Element City:

At one point, there was going to be a little addendum at the end. Instead of them just leaving at the end, you were going to see that they had been gone and we’re coming back to visit, and they’ve had a baby, and the baby was steam. And so it’s like… that was something I kept fighting for that for a long time.

wade and ember in elemental in a hot air balloon
Credit: Pixar

With Ember being a fire elemental and Wade being a water elemental, their hypothetical steam baby would be an undeniably fun concept to explore in a sequel movie or, perhaps, a Disney+ show, which could see Wade and Ember’s child navigating the hardships of being half-water, half-fire in Element City. Given that Elemental didn’t shy away from exploring themes of discrimination and the importance of acceptance, this could be a nuanced way of expanding the universe while still connecting back to the original story.

But should Disney greenlight an Elemental sequel? It could be argued that a portion of the film’s eventual success is thanks to the story being an original IP, an increasingly rare phenomenon in the never-ending chain of recycled Hollywood remakes. Even if Elemental’s charming characters and gripping premise were enough to warrant a follow-up film or Disney+ series, it could subtract from the original’s magic.

FIRE AND WATER – Set in a city where fire-, water-, land-, and air-residents live together, Disney and Pixar’s “Elemental” introduces Ember, a tough, quick-witted and fiery young woman whose friendship with a fun, sappy, go-with-the-flow guy named Wade challenges her beliefs about the world they live in. Featuring the voices of Leah Lewis and Mamoudou Athie as Ember and Wade, respectively, “Elemental” releases on June 16, 2023. © 2022 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved. Copyright © 2022 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
Credit: Disney Pixar

Ultimately, Pixar has a solid track record of making sequels that are on par, if not better than the originals (i.e., Toy Story 2 (1999), An Extremely Goofy Movie (2000), etc.). Bringing back Wade, Ember, and the rest of the crew for more fire-breathing, water-bending hijinks could prove to be a major hit for the studio if they play their cards right by listening to audiences and what they want to see.

It’s becoming increasingly tricky for Pixar to take a gamble on original IPs like Elemental, so to see this unlikely rom-com soar in ratings is good news for the studio, who seems to still have their special touch of magic—for now.

Disney and Pixar’s “Elemental” Wade (R) Ember (L)
Credit: Disney Pixar

With Elemental’s success comes the very likely possibility that Disney could expand its story into a full-blown franchise in the future. But for now, only time will tell if that actually comes to fruition, or if a lack of interest will extinguish the Elemental flame for good.

Would you be interested in seeing an Elemental 2 or a Disney+ spinoff series? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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