Disney, News, Pixar

BREAKING: ‘Toy Story 4’ set for 2017, John Lasseter will Direct [UPDATE]

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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: 

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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?

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About Brandon Smith

Brandon is your average nerd with a love for nerdy things (games, comics, anime/manga, etc.). He also loves reading and writing and plans to be an author someday. For now, he writes with passion and curiosity about the world of animation. He lives with his family in North Carolina and is currently attending college.
  • Scrap Doodle

    Pixar needs to stop relying on sequels and release more original films.

    Ugh.

    • Manuel Orozco

      I can’t believe Pixar keeps lying to us

  • Trev

    Aw man…so many mixed feelings.

  • Aveeva

    Great…

  • Stephanie

    To be fair, everyone seems to grumble when a new Pixar sequel is announced, but does anyone really have anything negative that they can say about Toy Story 2 or 3? I think that they wouldn’t be making this film if they weren’t going to do the franchise justice.

    • Oh, we know they make great films (Cars 2 is an exception), but we all said goodbye and shed our tears in TS3!
      I hate it when I say goodbye to people at the office, then have to go straight back staring at the ground because I left my wallet there..

  • Gideon

    HOW can they possibly top Toy Story 3 though? Won’t this destroy the emotional integrity of the perfect ending that film has?

    • ThisisIt

      Emotion was the same with Jessie in TS2. TS3 was already a big pile of useless emotion with the useless Andy. Nobody cared about him in the first two movies.
      If Pixar can only make movies with “emotion” look at their origanility : zero since Brave.

      • Gideon

        Of course they are all emotional – Pixar crafted a pair of films with ‘Toy Story’ and ‘Toy Story 2’ where we care for Andy through Woody. Andy is his everything: Woody sacrificed eternity for another few short years with him. We know what Andy means to Woody, so we care for him too. That’s what makes the third film so heartbreaking. Hardly useless in my book.

        PS You do know there were 12 Pixar films before ‘Brave’, and 1 after, right? I feel like the scale is still very much in favour of quality filmmaking at Pixar.

      • Not Without

        I actually don’t know how many more times they can tell the same story over and over again. Kids outgrowing their Toys and a rescue from a villain. I could not get through Toy Story 3 because it was a redux of Toy Story 2 (which IMHO is the best of the 3).

  • Adriana

    I’m concerned about it coming out the around the same time as How to Train Your Dragon 3. I love the How to Train Your Dragon movies and I really think that more people need to see them. But almost everyone’s seen the Toy Story movies. DreamWorks Animation is already not earning as much money as they would like to with their films. If Toy Story 4 and How to Train Your Dragon 3 are in theaters at the same time it’s a very highly likely chance that people will go see Toy Story 4 instead because the Toy Story Franchise is more rooted in our society’s collective nostalgia. Since Toy Story 3 made over a billion dollars at the box office it’s obvious that people love these characters and would probably prefer to see them instead of a more recent franchise. I bet DreamWorks will eventually push How to Train Your Dragon 3’s release date back so that it won’t have to compete against Toy Story 4.

    • brandon

      How to Train Your Dragon 3 – June 9 2017

      Toy Story 4 – June 16, 2017

      I don’t think that this news should be cause for alarm for any Dragons fans. Yes, they are quite close to each other, but honestly I would worry if they were battling for supremacy on the same day. Also, we are three years away from when these films will come out, so anything can happen. So let’s not ring the alarm bells just yet!

    • I would expect to see Dreamworks switch How To Train Your Dragon 3 out and give it another release date, for box office fear. And their financial situation is an ever-growing issue, with many of their films in the past 2 years flopping. 2017 is gonna be a competitive year.

    • Manuel Orozco

      Not if Toy Story 4 pushes back first. Besides HTTYD 3 is something we need to finish what was started over the summer in HTTYD 2

  • I mean I am so happy for this, but Toy Story ended it just perfectly! I just hope they don’t F*** this up

  • I don’t really want this, but I’m not against it happening either.

    • I am kind of the same way. I had no desire for this film (unlike an Incredibles sequel). However, complaining about it isn’t going to stop it. So I might as well get excited and hope that they outdo themselves again!

      • True. I am sure we all will get excited when the release date gets closer, but there is a small sense of fear and disappointment with this film, and it potentially having the Toy Story series franchise end up like….Shrek.

        • *Shutters*

          And the first Shrek films were so good too!

          • Imagine if this goes the ‘Land Before Time’ route.

          • Manuel Orozco

            That’s a good joke

          • Matthew Latham

            Oh please NO!

        • Manuel Orozco

          The 3rd movie was a slight improvement from the 2nd one and was a great ending to the trilogy. 15 God smurfin years of laughter tears fun suspense and adventure

  • Monkey

    June 2017, the month of Animation

  • Ugh, I am honestly not happy with the news. We know that there is a Cars 3, and an Incredibles 2 in development, and now this? There is definitely sequel-itis still going on at the studio. I honestly do not know how they can continue the story of the characters in Toy Story, and the third one was such a brilliant way to end it. I am mixed on the idea of this film. My worries for Pixar are still there.

    • Manuel Orozco

      Mine too Blah

  • Ariel

    Yeah I’m having some pretty mixed feelings about this. The third one ended so perfectly, I don’t understand why they feel the need to make another one. I personally would prefer seeing sequels to movies like The Incredibles, The Lego Movie, and Wreck-it Ralph. I’m not saying these movies have to have sequels, but I feel that if a sequel must be made, then make a sequel for when it would make sense to have a one. Especially ones that have the potential to be a franchise. Also, I think it’s important to know when to end a franchise. I think Pixar needs to focus on their more original ideas, like Inside Out. I don’t know, any other thoughts?

    • Manuel Orozco

      The Incredibles doesn’t need a sequel after ten years but Wreck it Ralph does because the possibilities are endless

  • The quality of the short films and holiday special for Toy Story provides me with no fear. Unlike Cars I feel like everyone at Pixar cares for these characters and they wouldn’t push for a sequel without a very solid story.

    I don’t think this a cash grab, I think this a genuine attempt to tell a really good story with characters we love.

  • Part of me is excited about Toy Story 4 because all the
    other Toy Story movies are fantastic. But then again the 3rd one ended so
    perfectly; it’s going to be very difficult to make a better film. I sure hope that Toy Story 4 is being made because it has a superb story, and not because it will sell toys and make a bunch of money (which it will). I was happy with the shorts and TV Specials, that was a great way to see the Toy Story in films characters and not mess the trilogy. So to sum it up, I’m conflicted like everyone else. I sure hope you know what you’re doing, Pixar.

  • Must admit, my initial reaction isn’t hopeful. Not only do I doubt this can top the ending we have, this seems to go against EVERY major theme in Toy Story 3 ie knowing when to let go of the past, ‘don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened’ etc. But I hope I’m wrong.

  • Sebastian

    Are they even called Pixar anymore I see more sequels than originals Im sorry but for me Toy Story 3 was the perfect ending and with the toons I could still continue but another movie. I never been against sequels before without Shrek but Toy Story 4 I don’t know.

  • Manuel Orozco

    Bob Iger must go to the fiery pits

  • Nathan C.

    WHAAAT?! I love all Toy Story and all, but another sequel could potentially ruin the franchise’s rep…

    NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NOT MY TOY STORY NO!

  • tom

    I just hope it doesn’t turn out like the Indiana Jones franchise…