The Book of Life director Jorge R. Gutierrez gave a discouraging update about a potential sequel to the 2014 animated movie starring Diego Luna.
The Book of Life explores the story of two childhood friends named Manolo and Joaquin as they try to win the love of Maria. Unbeknownst to them, La Muerte and Xibalba, who are both rules of the underworld, made a wager on the outcome of the love triangle.
The movie garnered mostly positive reviews, with it receiving a critic score of 83% on Rotten Tomatoes. It also managed to earn a worldwide box office haul of $99.7 million on a $50 million budget, leading some to wonder if The Book of Life 2 could eventually happen.
Will The Book of Life 2 Happen?
Director Jorge R. Gutierrez shared an update on X (formerly known as Twitter) about The Book of Life 2, confirming that he has no plans to do it "anytime soon:"
"I might get to do this film one day but not anytime soon unless you know something I don’t know."
The filmmaker continued, teasing that he already knows the sequel's potential story, but he "refused to write it down" due to Fox's sale to Disney:
"The story is in my head and I refused to write it down when the Fox sale to Disney happened."
Interestingly, in June 2017, Gutierrez and Reel FX Animation Studios announced, via Variety, during the Annecy Festival that The Book of Life 2 was in the works.
It was confirmed then the sequel was envisioned as stereoscopic 3D. Gutierrez also said that The Book of Life 2 serves as a "continuation of the story" of the beloved characters from the first film:
“The sequel grew from that and people asking what was gonna happen with the characters, what’s gonna happen to the gods? The sequel embraces all these things and, in a weird way, is a continuation of the story with everybody you love from the first movie.”
During the announcement in 2017, it was also revealed that Gutierrez, his wife Sandra Equihua, and The Book of Life art director Paul Sullivan even designed a poster for its sequel. It was made for an art exhibition of film posters of potential sequels.
In July 2019, Gutierrez continued to point out on X that he had "no plans" for a sequel, admitting that he "can die happy with no part 2:"
"I get asked about 'Book of Life 2' a lot. Especially with Disney now owning 'Book of Life' with the Fox sale. Here’s the latest update: for the time being, I currently have no plans [for] it. I genuinely love the first one and adore the characters. But I can die happy with no 'part 2.'"
Why The Book of Life's Director Is Hesitant to Make a Sequel
The Book of Life director Jorge Gutierrez appears firm with his decision to not make a sequel for the animated movie anytime soon.
Based on his comments, it seems that this is largely due to Disney and Fox's merger in 2019.
Back in 2017, Gutierrez was poised to create The Book of Life 2, but the sequel's momentum, as well as the filmmaker's interest, died down due to the merger.
It's possible that Gutierrez doesn't want Disney to meddle with his vision for The Book of Life 2 or he wants to keep his plans under wraps.
If a sequel ends up happening in the future, Gutierrez envisioned that it could focus on Joaquin's relationship with his father.
Hopefully, Gutierrez and Disney will end up collaborating for a sequel in the future, considering fans' demand for a continuation of The Book of Life's story.
The Book of Life is available to purchase on major digital platforms.