The Polar Express 2 is being ‘worked out’ according to one of its producers

The Polar Express
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A sequel to Robert Zemeckis’ 2004 animated Christmas film The Polar Express is being looked at, although nothing is yet confirmed.

Almost 20 years after its release, Robert Zemeckis’ animated Christmas film The Polar Express could be on the cusp of getting a sequel, as one of the film’s producers, Gary Goetzman, has revealed he’s trying to get a follow-up underway.

Speaking to, Goetzman referenced a couple of films he’s produced before dropping an interesting nugget regarding the future of The Polar Express. (The following quotes are lightly edited for clarity.)

“I’d love to [do The Polar Express 2]. 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 [and] 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.”

He added that it gets difficult when working out who owns what. “There’s so much involved with, ‘[Whose] artistic property would that be?’ […] 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.”

So The Polar Express 2 is at the very least being looked at, and Goetzman is trying to make it happen. We know that Robert Zemeckis is currently shooting the film Here, which happens to star Tom Hanks.

Read more: Revisiting the performance-capture animated films of Robert Zemeckis

Hanks played multiple roles in The Polar Express, so this could be very serendipitous for Zemeckis. After all, he has Hanks trapped on his film set for weeks, perhaps even longer, which should give him more than enough time to convince the actor to return for the sequel.

Hanks’ involvement would surely mean that Castle Rock Entertainment (which just happened to reform in 2022) and Warner Bros (which has declared an open interest in sequels and franchise films) may well be interested. Of course, this is all predicated on Zemeckis’ involvement, but the pieces currently fit together rather well.

If I recall correctly, The Polar Express was the second film I ever saw on a giant IMAX-style screen all the way back in 2008. That was some four years after the film’s actual release, but on such a huge screen it made for a wonderfully absorbing Christmas experience that still gives me the tingles now. (Shout out to Birmingham’s Giant Screen Cinema – it’s not there anymore, sadly.)

In the 20 years since the film’s release, The Polar Express has become a bit of a punchline for criticisms regarding the ‘uncanny valley’ nature of its animation, but its place in helping to establish new technological practices shouldn’t be overlooked.

If today’s beautiful-looking animated films stand on the shoulders of giants, then surely The Polar Express is one of those giants.

While some might claim that it hasn’t aged as well as other animated films of its era, you have to remember what an ambitious leap forward in technology it was. It also makes you wonder what kind of forward-looking technology its director, Robert Zemeckis might employ today if he were to return to the film.

We’ll bring you more on a potential sequel to The Polar Express if and when we hear it.

Read more: The lost Robert Zemeckis remake of Yellow Submarine

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