A sequel for the animated hit Wreck-It Ralph has been officially announced by Walt Disney Animation Studios, due to be released in 2018.

Director Rich Moore, who was in charge of the original movie that was a box office sensation in October 2012, confirmed that he was working on a follow-up during a live Facebook chat on Thursday (June 30th).

Wreck It RalphA still from 2012's 'Wreck-It Ralph'

The original’s star voice-over artist John C. Reilly confirmed his participation in a prospective sequel almost exactly a year ago, and the existence of a sequel was pretty much a no-brainer for Disney after it scored a record-breaking opening weekend for Disney at the time, but now it has the official green light.

Reilly made an appearance on the webcast too, and he’ll be reprising his character as Ralph from the Oscar-nominated original, who is a computer game villain who longs to be a hero and escapes his arcade machine to win the respect of other game characters – including Sonic the Hedgehog and Bowser!

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In the new movie, it appears as if the cast will escape the world of game consoles altogether and into the world of the internet.

Reilly teased during the conversation: “It’s top secret but I’ll tell you this much… Ralph leaves the arcade and wrecks the Internet… What could go wrong?”

It isn’t yet known if Reilly’s voice co-stars Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch and Alan Tudyk will be returning for the second movie. The original made a profit of $471.2 million in North America, and was the 12th highest grossing movie of 2012 despite being released with only about 8 weeks before the end of that year.

Wreck-It Ralph 2 has a tentative release date of March 9th, 2018.

More: ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ scores record box office debut for Disney [archive]