Pixar’s latest movie has been breaking records and has also become the most lucrative film in the studio’s 20-year run. So needless to say there’s a lot riding on their next animated film. It just so happens that this film will be an extension of their first major franchise: Toy Story 4. With a series as nostalgic and widely-known as this one, many fans have been wondering just what’s been happening with this latest installment.
Although there’s been very little news about it recently, Toy Story 4 is still coming, so don’t worry. Pixar said that they were focusing all of their main attention on Incredibles 2, and since that one recently released in theaters the studio has put new effort behind their next movie. Pixar has also finally given us a current release date. Toy Story 4 looks to be dropping into theaters on June 21st, 2019. However, there’s very little information that we do know about the movie. One thing we have been told is that Toy Story 4 will be directed by Josh Cooley, the writer of Inside Out and writer/director of the short Riley’s First Date. John Lassiter, the director of both Toy Story and Toy Story 2, was originally slated to be the director of this fourth installment, but he has since stepped down during allegations of misconduct.
Besides that, the only other bit of news we have is concerning the writer. Originally, the script was being handled by Rashida Jones (Parks and Recreation) and Will McCormack (Celeste & Jesse Forever), but after they both stepped down from the project for creative reasons the script fell into the hands of Stephany Folsom. Folsom has uncredited work on Thor: Ragnarok, so it’s hard to know whether she has the talent to bring a new entry into such a successful franchise. However, it appears that she’ll be working off of an idea made by four of Pixar’s greatest directors: Lassiter, Andrew Stanton (Up), Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3), and Pete Docter (WALL-E), and it sounds like this idea will possibly be a love story between Woody and Bo Peep, so it sounds like she’s in good hands.
There is much to speculate on, however. For instance, we’ve been told that Folsom will be working off of a previous idea, but she could just as easily toss it aside and begin work on a wholly new idea for a sequel. If so, what would it be about? How would it fit into the established Toy Story canon? It’s possible that the story could continue on when Bonnie, the toy’s new owner, is older, or it could take place right after where 3 ended. There’s also the thought that Andy could return in some form for 4, either as a cameo or possibly in a flashback, which would help to tie this movie in with the other three.
Also, there’s the question of which toys will be coming back. A few have already been stated, such as Tom Hanks returning as Woody, Annie Potts as Bo Pee, Kristen Schaal as Trixie, and obviously John Ratzenberger as Hamm, since he’s been in every single Pixar movie to date. Some others though aren’t as set in stone. We have no word of whether or not Tim Allen will be returning as Buzz, and since he’s one of the series’ primary focuses that seems like an important one to know. It has been said that both Allen and Hanks signed on for a fourth movie years ago should Pixar ever decide to do one. That, however, was years ago and things have changed, especially with Allen, who’s having a new season of his TV show Last Man Standing to move to Fox for the fall lineup.
Other actors whose returns aren’t said yet are Joan Cusack as Jessie, Wallace Shawn as Rex, or Blake Clark as Slink. One major voice though sadly cannot return. Don Rickles, the voice of Mr. Potato Head, passed away last year, and we don’t know if he will be replaced, or if his character will be written out of the movie altogether. It’s doubtful whether another actor could replace him, but there might be another way. After Paul Newman, the voice of Doc Hudson from Cars died before the third installment of the series, Pixar used unused audio clips from recording sessions and audio samples from interviews to bring his character to life one final time. It’s feasible that they might be able to do that for Rickles, which would give us one final adventure with everyone’s favorite curmudgeon.
So far, Toy Story 4 has more mysteries surrounding it than actual facts, but honestly, that’s part of what makes it so interesting. As more information is given to us we’ll have a better idea of what the actual movie will be, but until then theories and speculation about what it could be will hold fans over until summer of 2019. If Pixar is able to make magic for a fourth time in a row with this new Toy Story movie, then it will definitely have been worth the wait.
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