There are plenty of infamous paths not taken when it comes to the realm of science fiction. The Neill Blomkamp/Peter Jackson Halo movie. Alien 3 penned by William Gibson. A James Cameron Starcraft movie. But if there’s one dead-end alley that pains me the most, it’s the failure of Brad Bird’s brilliant, heartfelt animated classic, The Iron Giant. To this day, it’s one of the best animated movies I’ve ever seen, but it suffered from a bungled Warner Bros. marketing campaign that ensured that most of us who have come to love it, only discovered it on video later. But it’s a bittersweet love. Not only does the movie deserve to be seen and admired by pretty much everybody, but I have to wonder if we might have seen Brad return to the world of The Iron Giant, if things had gone differently.
The fan art up above, while amazing, just rubs some salt into that wound. Created by Jordan Kotzbue in celebration of the movie’s tenth anniversary back in 2009, the image shows us a snapshot of an Iron Giant sequel that never was, and the unbridled potential is almost more than I can stand. Here’s the artist’s explanation:
I wanted to do a piece of what I would have liked to see in a sequel. Ten years after the events of the first movie, the Giant finally puts himself back together again. When he goes searching for Hogarth, he finds out Hogarth is in Vietnam. All the while an invasion is approaching, with some familiar looking machines. It is discovered that the Giant was just a scout!
The first film eventually revealed that the Giant was originally designed as a weapon, but developed free will and decided he didn’t want to be a gun. (Culminating in the single movie scene most likely to reduce me to a sobbing wreck.) The idea of having more robots arrive on Earth from wherever the Giant originated would be a great concept for a sequel, and would lend itself to a more action-packed — but still full of heart — follow-up to the first film. I also love the “10 years later” approach, and while it never would have occurred to me to pursue the Vietnam angle, it makes sense given the timeline involved.
Seriously, how do I start a Kickstarter to make this happen?
And here’s that ending I mentioned. If you haven’t seen the movie, get the hell out of here and make it happen already! If you’ll excuse me, I’ve got something in both my eyes…