HomeMovie UpcomingIs there actually a Rio 3 coming out? And What is the...

Is there actually a Rio 3 coming out? And What is the story of Rio 3?

The animated movie Rio was released in 2011 by Blue Sky Studios and became a huge hit, grossing over $484 million worldwide. A sequel, Rio 2, followed...

The animated movie Rio was released in 2011 by Blue Sky Studios and became a huge hit, grossing over $484 million worldwide. A sequel, Rio 2, followed in 2014 and saw the colorful birds take flight again on another fun-filled adventure. Now, fans are wondering – will there be a Rio 3?

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In the last few years, there have been conflicting reports on whether a third Rio movie is actually in development or not. While no official confirmation has come from Blue Sky Studios or 20th Century Studios, there have been some indications that Rio 3 could still take off.

This article will summarize what is known so far about the potential for a Rio 3 movie – from possible release timeframes to storylines, cast members, and more. While the flight path is still uncertain, we can piece together the clues so far on whether fans could be returning to Blu, Jewel, and the other birds of Rio again.

Is Rio 3 Confirmed? Development Speculation

In April 2022, the Hollywood Reporter revealed that a script for Rio 3 was in development, being written by Jim Hecht (who wrote the first two films). The report stated that the project was in the early stages but could potentially target a 2025 release.

This news came after years of uncertainty around the future of Rio and Blue Sky Studios. After the acquisition of 21st Century Fox by Disney in 2019, speculation mounted that Blue Sky Studios would be shut down. Some concerns were raised when movies like Nimona were cancelled and key personnel left the studio.

However, reports of a Rio 3 script signaled that the studio’s most successful franchise could still be active. While no official green light has been given by Disney yet, the script progress indicates Rio 3 is at least being considered.

Potential Rio 3 Release Date

If Rio 3 does go ahead into full production, the earliest possible release date would be 2025 based on the Hollywood Reporter story.

Some other sources have previously claimed Rio 3 could be released as early as 2023 or 2024. However, these dates seem unlikely given the lack of official updates from Disney and the fact the script was only said to be in progress in 2022.

A 2025 timeframe would make sense as a feasible goal if the script was still in early stages last year. This would allow time for the script to be finished, animation and production to take place, and a solid marketing campaign before launch.

Of course, the release date speculation remains just that until Disney confirms a definitive Rio 3 production timeline. It’s quite possible dates could be pushed back too depending on how smoothly animation progresses.

Will Blue Sky Studios Animate Rio 3?

Another key question surrounding Rio 3 is whether Blue Sky Studios would still be involved in its production. The studio was founded in 1987 and released 13 feature films, including the first two Rio movies.

Since the Disney acquisition, there has been confusion around whether Blue Sky Studios still exists and is operational. The Nimona cancellation and staff departures suggested Disney could be winding down the studio’s activities.

However, there have been no official announcements that Blue Sky Studios is defunct. Recent reports indicate that after the acquisition, Disney reorganized the studio under a new business unit called 20th Century Animation.

While the future is unclear, if Rio 3 does go ahead it seems likely that any animation work would be done under the 20th Century Animation umbrella, which now houses former Blue Sky Studios employees. The studio has the knowledge and experience with the franchise.

So in summary – while its structure may have changed, Blue Sky Studios could still be involved in bringing a third Rio to life. But Disney would need to give an official green light first.

What Characters Could Return for Rio 3?

A big part of the appeal of Rio’s previous installments has been the colorful cast of bird characters and their voice actors. If a third movie takes flight, fans will certainly want to see their favorite feathery friends on screen again.

Reports indicate that Jesse Eisenberg and Anne Hathaway would likely reprise their lead voice roles as Blu and Jewel. Other major voices that could return include:

  • Leslie Mann as Linda
  • Rodrigo Santoro as Tulio
  • Rachel Crow as Carla
  • Pierce Gagnon as Tiago
  • Amandla Stenberg as Bia
  • i.am as Pedro
  • Jamie Foxx as Nico
  • George Lopez as Rafael
  • Tracy Morgan as Luiz
  • Jemaine Clement as Nigel

Of course, any new or surprise voice cast additions would also be exciting for fans. But Rio 3 will hopefully bring back the main gang for another music-filled adventure.

What Could the Story Be About in Rio 3?

Since no official plot details have been revealed, it’s not clear yet what story Rio 3 could explore.

However, based on the previous films, we can speculate on some possible storyline directions:

Continue Blu and Jewel’s Family Adventures

The first two movies centered heavily around Blu’s relationship with Jewel, starting from when they first met. A third installment could further develop Blu and Jewel as partners and parents, alongside their three children. The writers have lots of room to craft new family-focused adventures.

Introduce a New Villain

While the cockatoo Nigel served as the main villain in the first two Rio films, the birds could face off against a new foe the third time around. This could keep the franchise feeling fresh while allowing the animators to really flex their creativity muscles designing another memorable rogue.

Explore More of the Bird World

So far, audiences have only seen glimpses of the broader bird civilization in Rio’s jungle. The third movie could expand the world building and take audiences to exciting new parts of the birds’ domain. This opens lots of creative possibilities.

Growing Into a Series

Some fans think Rio has potential to grow into a full series of movies over time. Rio 3 could help set up an extended storyline across multiple installments. This approach has worked well for franchises like Toy Story and How to Train Your Dragon.

Of course, the actual plot direction will remain a mystery until the filmmakers reveal more. But a third trip to the world of Rio has lots of potential no matter which storyline takes flight.

Will There Be Any Major Changes From the Previous Rio Movies?

Given the long gap since Rio 2 in 2014, some fans have wondered if Rio 3 might take the franchise in a very different direction if it happens. However, major changes seem unlikely.

The characters, setting, and overall tone established in the first two films still have lots of potential for more stories. The previous Rio movies were beloved by fans and were highly successful at the box office.

As a result, the filmmakers would be wise to stick to a similar formula with Rio 3. Fans will want to see the familiar characters, music, and Brazilian carnival spirit that defined the first two films.

Of course, some evolution is expected. The animation will certainly get an upgrade to stay cutting edge. We could see slight visual redesigns for the characters as well while keeping them recognizable.

But sweeping changes that discard too much of the original movies’ identities would likely frustrate and alienate longtime fans. In summary, while Rio 3 will hopefully feel fresh, it will likely stay true to its roots.

Frequently Asked Questions About Rio 3

Here are answers to some common questions that fans have about the potential third Rio movie:

Is there any trailer or footage of Rio 3 available to watch?

No, since the movie has not been officially confirmed to be in production yet, no trailer or footage has been released.

Where will Rio 3 be set?

Though unconfirmed, Rio 3 would likely be primarily set in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil like the previous movies. This vibrant and exotic setting is a key part of the franchise’s identity.

How well did Rio and Rio 2 perform at the box office?

The first Rio movie grossed $484 million worldwide against a $90 million budget. Rio 2 also turned a good profit with $500 million grossed globally from a $103 million budget.

Will the original voice actors return for Rio 3?

While not guaranteed yet, it is believed Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, and most of the main cast would return. Their voice performances are integral parts of the characters.

Could the COVID-19 pandemic delay Rio 3?

Yes, the pandemic has delayed many movies over the last few years. If Rio 3 enters production, some timeline adjustments could happen due to animation studio shutdowns or other factors.


While an official green light has not been given yet, the development of a Rio 3 script offers hope that fans could reunite with Blu, Jewel, and the colorful birds of Rio again soon. The franchise remains widely popular, and the previous films left lots of room for new stories.

Of course, Disney holds the keys on whether Rio 3 will become a reality or not. We may have to wait for an official announcement to know the movie’s true fate. Still, all the signs point to strong potential for the samba birds to fly again if the studio gives the go-ahead.

Rio 3 has the chance to recapture the family-friendly spirit that made the first two films so beloved. It could also introduce new characters, settings, music, and adventures to take the franchise to new heights. While fans wait anxiously for updates, hope remains that Rio 3 could still be on the horizon sometime within the next few years.


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