ENGLISH…IGN recently caught up with Wreck-It Ralph director Rich Moore to talk about the film's upcoming Blu-ray release, which features a never before seen animatic depicting one of the story's dropped video game worlds, Extreme EZ Livin' 2. The filmmaker also gave us an update on the sequel and his thoughts on what he'd like to see in a potential followup.
IGN Movies: So I first want to discuss this deleted scene and Extreme EZ Livin' 2. Can you talk a bit about the context of this clip, the Bobby Dunderson character, and how it originally fit into the story?
Rich Moore: Well, Extreme EZ Livin' was this idea that was floated out to Ralph by Bobby Dunderson, who was this kind of ne'er-do-well Hero's Duty character. He told Ralph about this other game that sounded like paradise. It was a place where there were no good guys, no bad guys, just guys -- and girls and sun and surf. It was kind of this Shangri-La where Ralph could forget his troubles. It was a game sort of like The Sims meets Grand Theft Auto, and it was a little amoral with no object to the game. It was just about collecting what we called "Like Its" from other characters in the game, depending on how well you were dressed or what kind of accouterments you were wearing. It was a place where Ralph could drown his sorrows in a hot tub with margaritas. Eventually, in the story, it was the place that Ralph was going to go once he disappointed Vanellope and himself. You know, it was another game world that came very late in the story that people were finding a lot to digest in a movie of about 90 minutes long. In fact, it was making our movie about two hours long, which is pretty long for an animated film. Unfortunately, even though we all loved the idea of this place and what seemed to be a paradise for Ralph as well as a real bottom for him, it was just too much to add in the film. Hopefully, we'll maybe get to revisit that idea, because I think it's one that's worth exploring. It just didn't make the cut for the first Wreck-It Ralph.
IGN: How much development did you end up doing for that particular world?
Moore: We did a lot of writing and storyboarding for it, and it survived several drafts of the script... We also did a lot of paintings and character designs. We really wanted it to have the visual feel of a world kind of like The Sims, where it's got that kind of low res but high realism -- with the characters, you can really feel the polygons and how they're constructed. It didn't have the production value of a place like Hero's Duty. To make a comparison, if Hero's Duty is New York and Sugar Rush is Paris, Extreme EZ Livin' is kind of like Reno. [Laughs] Not to insult anyone in Reno, but it's a little rough around the edges. Biggest little city in the world!
IGN: You mentioned earlier that we may see Extreme EZ Livin' in the future. Obviously there's been a lot of talk about a Wreck-It Ralph sequel over the last couple months. Can you talk about where you are with that at this point?
Moore: There's definitely a lot of interest from a lot of people: myself, the actors -- Sarah [Silverman] and John [C. Reilly] especially -- and all the artists and technicians at Disney. We're just kind of waiting for an official word at this point, but it definitely seems like something could happen. We're really keeping our fingers crossed. We had a great time, all of us working on the film, from top to bottom. I think it would be just awesome to work with that team again and return to that world.
IGN: You've already said that Tron and Mario are at least in consideration for the sequel. Are there any other game characters that you couldn't squeeze into the first film that you'd like to put in a second?
Moore: There was definitely an old school one that I loved as a kid, and that was Dirk the Daring from Dragon's Lair. I loved that game. It was so different from other video games that had 2D animation in it. It was just very unique at that time, and it had things that I loved about both animation and video games within it. It really rekindled my love of 2D animation at just the right time, as a teenager. I really wanted that character in Wreck-It Ralph, but the legal red tape made it pretty impossible to get the rights to him. But it would be great to try and get that character freed up for a sequel, should there be one.
IGN: In Wreck-It Ralph, we saw the 8-bit classics, the '90s racers and modern shooters. Is there one particular game genre that you would want to explore next?
Moore: Definitely, as I said, that kind of social gaming aspect would be a lot of fun, but I also love mobile gaming. I don't exactly know how we could work it in, you know, things like Angry Birds and the With Friends games -- only because I love playing them. It just seems like it would be great to work in a story about those types of games that are so prevalent and contemporary and part of today's culture. I would love to somehow work that into a sequel.