Toy Story 4, set to release June 16th, 2017, is not going to be a continuation of the original trilogy. In fact, according to Pixar president Jim Morris, it is being planned as a stand alone romantic comedy. Speaking with Disney Latino said:
“The third movie was over in a beautiful way and completed a trilogy. I think this movie is not part of [that] trilogy. We are putting together a very nice story. It is not a continuation of the end of the story of ‘Toy Story 3.’ Temporarily it is, but it will be a love story. It will be a romantic comedy. It will not make much focus on the interaction between the characters and children. I think it will be a very good movie.”
Speculation about the movie has been mixed since Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger confirmed the existence of the fourth movie in November of 2014. John Lasseter, the director of the first two movies, is returning to direct the new installment. The new story concept is the brainchild of Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter, and Lee Unkrich; the creative minds and driving force behind the original trilogy of films.
“We love these characters so much; they are like family to us,” said Lasseter. “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 [Stanton], Pete [Docter], Lee [Unkrich] 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.”
The writing team Lasseter has assembled includes Rashida Jones and Will McCormack, co-writers of the Frenemy of the State movie, released in 2012, (based on the comic of the same name co-written by Jones) and the 2012 comedy Celest and Jesse Forever. “They have such a great sense of character and originality,” Lasseter said to the Los Angeles Times. “And I wanted to get a strong female voice in the writing of this.” The new film is being produced by Gayln Susman, a long time veteran of Pixar.
While the characters from the Toy Story franchise have appeared in several short films and TV specials, including one that aired in December of last year, this will be their first feature film appearance since 2010. A very long gap in which fans were left to wonder about the fate of the Toys.
But a romantic comedy including Woody, Buzz, Barbie, Jessie, and the Potatos? I’m in. Especially if they bring back Bo Peep.