Is There a Polar Express 2 Releasing? Announcement & Details

By Russ Milheim Posted:
The Polar Express Conductor

For viewers hoping to find out if The Polar Express 2 is actually announced, here's all the details needed to solve the mystery.

It's been two decades since the original animated film, The Polar Express, was released in theaters. Directed by Robert Zebecks and starring Tom Hanks, it remains a fan favorite despite only having a 56% critic approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Since The Polar Express' release, there has been no real progress on a proper continuation. Well, not until earlier this year, that is.

Is Polar Express 2 a Real Thing?

Tom Hanks as the Conductor in The Polar Express
The Polar Express

Comicbook's Brandon Davis spoke with Polar Express producer Gary Goetzman in early 2024, asking the filmmaker point-blank if he had any interest in making The Polar Express 2.

Surprisingly, Goetzman announced that a release of a sequel is being planned at Warner Bros., with its development "trying to be worked out now":

"Listen, I'd love to... I'd love to do a sequel of 'Where The Wild Things Are'. There's a lot of the things that we've done, if it established itself, branded itself, those movies, studios want another one. That's the way it goes. I'm up for 'Mamma Mia 3', man. That would be a ball to do right about now. But it becomes, there's so much involved with, 'Who's artistic property would that be? Would that be?' It's just not like, 'Hey, let's go do another free sailing! So, they all take time and that's okay because we don't mind things going slowly. But that is trying to be worked out now, for sure, 'Polar 2'. Yes."

This particular quote has been reshared and circulated across social media recently, with many TikTok users rediscovering it, leading to a renewed interest in the idea of a proper Polar Express sequel.

It's important to clarify that despite the producer's recent statements, it remains unclear just how far into development The Polar Express 2 actually is, and if it's any further along than just an expo marker on a whiteboard.

When Is Polar Express 2 Coming Out?

The honest answer to when The Polar Express 2 will reach audiences across the world is that there is no expected release date. First, the project needs to get out of development purgatory.

Talking about the idea of a film is one thing, but hiring all the people to get the ball rolling and bring it all together is another thing entirely.

Perhaps after Gary Goetzman's recent wartime Apple TV+ drama Masters of the Air, the filmmaker could use a fun respite in the form of a light-hearted animated Christmas tale. Fans across social media and TikTok certainly seem to be interested in the idea.

Sadly, viewers should not get their hopes up for anything anytime soon. Animation takes a long time, and if the film is still only in the brainstorming stages, then The Polar Express 2 could be years away.

Even something like 2026 would be far too early. It could easily be as far away as 2027 or 2028––assuming it continues progressing down the development pipeline.

The Polar Express is available to rent on digital platforms.

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- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.