As you may have guessed from the heading, we are currently receiving breaking news of a major announcement from Disney/Pixar.
Courtesy of sources such as Polygon and Entertainment Weekly, Bob Iger (chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company) announced that Pixar is in active development on Toy Story 4. The announcement was made today during an earnings call, according to Ben Fritz of the Wall Street Journal.
It was also reported that John Lasseter, chief creative director of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios and director of the first Toy Story, will return to the director’s chair for the new installment.
The film will hit theaters on June 16, 2017, putting it in front of the June 9 release date for How to Train Your Dragon 3. Also bowing that same month is Despicable Me 3 on June 30.
Personally, I’m intrigued by this development and at the same time also worried about it. The last time John Lasseter sat in the director’s chair for a film was Cars 2, a film that infamously sank Pixar’s original winning streak. Also, Toy Story 3 did such a superb job of bring the story of Buzz, Woody, and others to a close that news of the development of a new installment almost out of nowhere already causes concern on its own.
But then, Pixar is slowly but surely getting back on its feet. And John has spent a considerable amount of time away from the director’s chair, so coming back to a beloved franchise that he jumpstarted may be a good move.
[UPDATE] 11/6/14 7:20 PM PST:
More information has poured in following the announcement of Toy Story 4! (Courtesy of Screen Rant).
After the initial announcement, Bob Iger issued a statement on Lasseter’s involvement, saying: “John created Toy Story and directed the first two films, and it’s great to have him back directing one of our most valuable properties.”
This was later followed up by John Lasseter’s statement on the matter, speaking about the ‘challenges’ of living up to the legacy of what was initially a trilogy: “We love these characters so much; they are like family to us. We don’t want to do anything with them unless it lives up to or surpasses what’s gone before. Toy Story 3 ended Woody and Buzz’s story with Andy so perfectly that for a long time, we never even talked about doing another Toy Story movie…”
According to Lasseter, the idea for Toy Story 4 was cooked up by himself along with key members of his brain trust (Andrew Stanton, Pete Doctor, and Lee Unkrich). He continues here by saying: “I could not stop thinking about it. It was so exciting to me, I knew we had to make this movie—and I wanted to direct it myself.”
The screenplay will be written by actors-turned-scribes Will McCormack and Rashida Jones. They previously scripted the romantic comedy Celeste and Jesse Forever.
Lastly, Toy Story 4 is described in Disney/Pixar’s official press release as a movie that “opens a new chapter in the lives of Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the ‘Toy Story’ gang.” Story details are unsurprisingly under wraps for now, but it can be inferred that the film will explore the newfound relationship between the toys and their new owner Bonnie. Tim Allen and Tom Hanks are expected to return.
We will keep you updated as more information about Toy Story 4 comes to light.
What do you think? How do you feel about a new chapter in the Toy Story franchise?