Atlantis: The Lost Empire remains an underrated gem in Disney’s filmography. The 2001 film featured a well written story with an awesome band of characters led by Michael J. Fox. It had cool animation, and continues to get better with age. While it may not be Disney’s most popular animated film, those who love it really love it. The original film wraps things up pretty well at the end, but there could have been a sequel. And via Collider, we learned details about the scrapped sequel’s plot from director Kirk Wise.
Atlantis: Milo’s Return is technically the sequel, but that story was originally a TV series. Disney Television Animation worked on it to coincide with the film’s release; they scrapped it after only three episodes. They then stitched those three episodes together to make Milo’s Return, but they didn’t have the firepower or story flow to make it a cohesive film. The movie didn’t perform as well as the studio had hoped. Therefore, they decided not to continue on with the series.
But director Kirk Wise told Collider there were plans for an actual sequel to the film. He said, “[Story supervisor] John Sanford, Gary [Trousdale], and I actually concocted an idea for a sequel to Atlantis. It had no relation to the Atlantis TV series that was being developed at Disney Television Animation. This was a feature-length, full-on, full-blown sequel to Atlantis.”
He went on in the interview to discuss the general plot. “We were going to have a new villain in the story. The villain was going to be wearing big, scary, wool, bulky, World War I-style clothing with a frightening gas mask to obscure its face; a little Darth Vader-esque. And this villain was going to try and retake Atlantis and finish the job that Rourke was unable to accomplish. And the big twist in the climax of the movie is that the villain is unmasked and it turns out to be Helga Sinclair. Plot twist!”
While Wise’s idea for a sequel might not ever become a reality, fans of Atlantis can hope. Or can at least write some cool fan fiction in its place. Learn more about what could have been at Collider.
Featured Image: Disney