After 14 years fans of The Incredibles are finally going to find out what has been going on with the lovable Parr family in the highly anticipated sequel. Despite the gap in time, the next installment picks up right where the original left off, and favorites like Frozone, voiced by Samuel L. Jackson, are back for the ride. A lot has changed for the super family, but some things have stayed the same.
During the press run leading up to the film, director Brad Bird was asked why Frozone’s wife, Honey (voiced by actress Kimberly Adair Clark), had not been seen on screen, though we can hear her speak. He stated that she was “funnier as a voice” and that a character had been designed for her, but was not used.
Black viewers anxious to see more characters that look like them scoffed at the reasoning, but Jackson playfully trolled BET’s inquiry into Honey’s on-screen absence at the recent junket in L.A.
“She’s not absent. She’s there. She’s talking to me,” he replies when asked about the criticism. “[And] How you know she’s Black? Honey is like an amber liquid, not necessarily a dark liquid, unless it’s dark honey.”
Knowing when to let the joke go, Jackson finally answers, opening the door to possibly doing more with the Honey character in the future.
“I have no idea why she’s not [seen]. I met the woman that voices her, she is Black. [laughs]. I don’t know. Maybe we’ll do a short or something with her in it. Give me a chance to get some more employment. Do the Honey movie.”
The question around Honey’s visibility speaks to larger issues of representation in films, particularly in the popular super hero genre. Jackson has starred in Marvel’s Avengers franchise as Nick Fury, a character who was not Black in the comics, but he doesn’t feel that any extra effort is being made by movie studios for inclusion on the basis of race and gender.
“I just think that the sensitivity to people being people and everybody — no matter what color, ethnicity, race or whatever — there are special people in all those places. And there are movies and stories that will reflect that. Black Lightning is awesome. Tessa [Thompson’s] character in [Thor] Ragnarok… we don’t necessarily have to be the lead, we just need to be there so you can see we are special in these kinds of ways. There is an interesting black female character in Captain Marvel. So they’re popping up. And the more it happens the more ordinary it will seem and not be something special like, ‘Oh, we’re making progress.’ No, we’re catching up to the rest of the world."
The Incredibles 2 is in theaters nationwide June 15!
With additional reporting by Melissa V. Murray
Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)