'Zootopia 2' Movie Sequel Cast Confirmed By 'Rhino' Mark Smith? Disney Release Date Predicted For 2021

Patrick Frye

The Zootopia 2 release date can't come any sooner for many Walt Disney movie fans. Rumors about the Zootopia 2 full movie have been bounding about like Judy Hopps, but the silence from Disney was recently broken by Zootopia cast member Mark Smith. Known by the nickname Rhino, the voice actor appropriately played Officer McHorn in the first movie. During a recent interview, Smith dropped a bombshell by hinting at the Zootopia sequel!

[Update: Nick Wilde voice actor Jason Bateman also spoke up about Zootopia 2 in recent interviews, but his comments will probably leave Disney fans disappointed.]

Smith earned the nickname Rhino during his time with the TV show Gladiators in the 1990's. So, it was like a movie easter egg when Rhino was cast as Officer McHorn in the Disney Zootopia movie.

"It was a game changer for me. Gladiators changed my life," Smith said, according to The Sun. "I remember the first time I was on it. At 7.45 Blind Date was just about to come on and I went to the supermarket and then I kind of got rushed by a big crowd and everyone's asking for my autograph and said 'we just saw you on TV.'"

Recently, Smith was cast by Idris Elba in the new movie, Yardie, which was being filmed in Jamaica. Smith also stars alongside Antonio Banderas and Sir Ben Kingsley in a new thriller called Security. The Yardie movie is Elba's first time directing, and the Luther star picked Smith because of their shared connection working together on the first Zootopia and the 2014 thriller, No Good Deed.

While talking about these other films, Smith "confirmed he will reprise his role of Officer McHorn in the upcoming Zootopia sequel." No further details were given about the Zootopia 2 full movie, but this brief mention of the Zootopia sequel was also verified by a similar report from The List, which also said Rhino would be reprising his role as a Zootopia cast member.

If not, then obviously the Zootopia 2 release date has to be in 2021 or beyond. According to Screen Rant, "Disney has already confirmed three of its release dates in 2021, earmarking the dates so they can then schedule the rest of their releases around it." The first untitled movie is set for March of 2021, and it's a live action film. The second film is an untitled Pixar animation that will be released in June of 2021.

That leaves the third film, an "untitled Disney animation" which will come out in November of 2021. Could that be the Zootopia 2 movie? Other fans have argued that March of 2022 makes even more sense. After all, Frozen 2 is releasing almost exactly six years later, so March 4, 2022, would be the Zootopia 2 release date if Disney continues that trend.

"My personal secret goal is that it would something that's obviously another case for Nick and Judy and maybe Clawhauser gets to tag along a bit," Torrence said. "I wouldn't mind getting out in the field to help old Judy and Nick through it. Get him out from behind the desk. I think that could be fun."

What's going to happen to Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman)? The foxy voice actor says he hopes the two main characters will be "kicking ass out there" and "cleaning up the streets" of all the bad guys. Besides buddy cop action, Goodwin wants to see the roles of Nick and Judy reversed.

"You and I know what happens at the end of the movie, and I would like them to along on this adventure in their new roles. But because they are playing new roles, I would also like to see Nick [Wilde] have to be the one to convince Judy [Hopps] that the world is worth fighting for," Goodwin explained.

Zootopia directors Byron Howard and Rich Moore are aware that many fans seem to be shipping Nick and Judy together for the Zootopia sequel, but they purposefully left the relationship ambiguous. The two men admitted that by the end of the first film that, it felt like there could be a little bit more to the character's relationship, but they never conceived that it would turn into the shipping that it's become.

However, both Howard and Moore acknowledge that if they move forward with the stories of these characters, then they'll be forced to weigh in on the issue. In the end, Moore said that one side of the shipping debate is inevitably going to be disappointed.

"It's so weird because half the fans are like, 'We love WildeHopps, and they need to get together and get married,' and then there's this other side that's like, 'No! They should not get together. Do male and female characters always have to get together at the end of every movie? Can't they just stay best friends?'" Moore said back in 2016.

During a 2017 Golden Globes interview, the directors also noted how there are viewers who "believe there is no romance and others that say they have to be together." When asked about any specific plans for the story of the Zootopia 2 movie sequel, Howard and Moore would only say that the Zootopia world would allow "us to discuss so many things that we don't normally get to talk about with animated films." What does that mean? Unfortunately, we'll just have to wait until the Zootopia 2 release date to find out.

[Featured Image by Disney/Zootopia]