The new villain in Incredibles 2 makes the movie sound like a terrifying episode of Black Mirror

When you think of a movie that’s going to haunt your reality and make you question your own electronic choices, the first thing that comes to mind is probably not Incredibles 2. The movie, now 14 years in the making, hits theaters this summer and along with it comes a terrifying new villain that isn’t going to use sheer strength and power to fight Mr. and Mrs. Incredible — rather, this villain will use wits and smarts, and prey on something everyone’s already addicted to: screens.

While the original Incredibles ended with Underminer wrecking havoc on the city — and we will see him back in the sequel — he’s not the main foe for this outing. That title belongs to someone much more terrifying (and someone that sounds ripped from an episode of Black Mirror). Say hello to Screenslaver.

While we don’t know too much about this brand new, devious character, the name alone certainly gives a little bit away. It’s like a pun on “screensaver,” but 100x more horrifying because it sounds like we’re about to be enslaved next time we check our Twitter timeline. The villain has a metal-like appearance and giant, round eyes that spin and swirl as if to hypnotize you — because that’s actually what Screenslaver is trying to do. This bad guy is hellbent on taking control of Municiberg, and doing it via the power of — what else? — technology.


However, stop for a second and remember that Incredibles is not a present day story. It’s set during an undetermined time in the past, most commonly referred to as mid-century. There are no iPhones or even cell phones, and certainly no one is tweeting at Mr. Incredible to save the day. And honestly, that makes Screenslaver even more terrifying, because they’re working at a time even before hand-held technology was so prevalent.

When asked about if the new villain might be a reflection of today’s social media culture during a press day for Incredibles 2 at Pixar, returning director Brad Bird was quick to shoot this idea down. As he explained, he’s been working on Incredibles 2 for 14 years, and there was no way to know what would be happening in 2018.

Rather, this new villain is mean to reflect not what’s new, but what’s been happening since the 1950s, when the idea of an in-home television was first introduced:

“Screens were hypnotizing us 30 years ago, he explained to HelloGiggles. “Where everybody was plunked down in front of the television and just changing channels and staying there all day. The idea of people kind of forgetting what's going on around them, in favor of what's going on inside this cool glowing box is not a new idea, but it is one that stays with us.

And honestly, the fact that the Parrs don’t have cellphones yet run the risk of being hypnotized anyway is kind of scarier than anything else Incredibles 2 could do.

So what kind of screens should we be wary of? Bird isn’t saying, but producer Nicole Paradis Grindle promises HelloGiggles that Screenslaver is a “really cool villain and it was really hard to get to…[and they’re a] really cool element of our story.”

Good to know that even before the intention of cell phones, technology was still aiming to take over the world — and control us. Incredibles 2 hits theaters on June 15th.

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