Nearly three years have passed since director Jorge R. Gutiérrez’s “The Book of Life” brought Mexico’s Día de Los Muertos to the big screen. And it looks like there will be a part two: Gutiérrez announced Wednesday (June 14) at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival that he’s releasing a sequel.
The Reel FX Animation Studios movie starred the voices of Zoe Saldana (“Guardians of the Galaxy”), Diego Luna (“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”) and Channing Tatum (“Step Up”)—and the sequel will as well. The three characters were in a deep love triangle with Luna and Tatum’s characters, Manolo Sánchez and Joaquín Mondragon, respectively, vying for the love of Maria Posada, Saldana’s character.
The original, independent film, produced by award-winning Guillermo del Toro, was premised on the core principle of the Day of the Dead, Gutiérrez told Variety: “If you talk about someone, sing their songs, remember them, they are with you.”
“The sequel grew from that, and people asking what was going to happen with the characters, what’s going to happen to the gods?" Gutiérrez added. “ 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.”
The original movie grossed $100.5 million worldwide, with audiences connecting to its art elements of Mayan and Aztec culture and mariachi covers of classics like “Just a Friend” by Biz Markie or “Creep” by Radiohead.
Twitter went wild when the director teased the idea of a sequel back in November:
Who wants to see this movie? Asking for a friend. pic.twitter.com/Fb0R6bkWBh
— Jorge R. Gutierrez (@mexopolis) November 30, 2016
The sequel’s release date has not yet been announced.