Pixar’s animated Toy Story saga may have reached its apparent narrative conclusion with 2010’s Toy Story 3, but the studio confirms that the story is far from over.
During a conference call with investors, The Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger revealed that Toy Story 4 is not only in the works, but it will be directed by original Toy Story director John Lasseter, now the company’s Chief Creative Officer. The film is scheduled to hit theaters on June 16, 2017.
While Iger declined to offer any details about the film’s plot or whether it will involve the return of franchise voice actors Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, and the rest of its all-star cast, he did announce that the script will be penned by writers-turned-actors Rashida Jones and Will McCormack. The pair previously co-wrote the screenplay for the romantic comedy Celeste and Jesse Forever.
“We love these characters so much; they are like family to us,” said Lasseter during the call. “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. But when Andrew, Pete, Lee, and I came up with this new idea, I just 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.”
As Lasseter mentioned, the plot for Toy Story 4 was conceived by himself, Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo), Pete Docter (Up, Monsters, Inc.), and Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3).
To date, the Toy Story franchise has earned more than $883 million in the U.S. and $1.942 billion worldwide, with Toy Story 3 raking in more than $415 million domestically and $1.063 billion abroad.