It was first thought that 2010’s Toy Story 3 would be the end of Disney-Pixar’s Toy Story film franchise, with the characters to live on through animated shorts. Director John Lasseter had explained that there won’t be a Toy Story 4 unless there was a story that was worth telling. But Lasseter’s wife would help with the inspiration for a fourth feature film, and when the Pixar Brain Trust Member Andrew Stanton worked together on the sequel, Stanton came up with a treatment that convinced him that it was worthy to revisit the world of Toy Story. Months after, it was confirmed that Will McCormack and Rashida Jones would develop the treatment to a full script.
Now we know more about the film, which has been described as a romantic film with a Pixar touch. Lasseter made an appearance on Friday at the Pixar Animation Panel during Disney’s D23 Expo, where he talked more about the next installment.
“Iâ€™m very proud of our films,â€ said Lasseter. â€œWhen we made the first three â€˜Toy Storyâ€™ films, we didnâ€™t realize what we had done was to change the genre of each of the filmsâ€™ story. For â€˜Toy Story 4,â€™ we are doing a type of story we have not done before: a love story. Itâ€™s a story about a relationship between Woody and Bo Peep. “
The sequel, which will be co-directed Josh Cooley, has been confirmed to be a love story between Woody and Bo Beep, a character who was sold in between the events of Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3. While Toy Story 4 will be a “romantic film,” it won’t a “romantic comedy.” In it, Woody and Buzz will head out to find Bo Beep, running into new toys and characters along the way. We also would learned that the sequel would focus more on the toys and less on the humans.
It’s still to early to announce a cast or even show any footage, but Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, and Don Rickles have been confirmed to return to reprise their respective roles. More cast announcements are expected in the coming years. Pixar still has a lot to work on before they can start production on Toy Story 4. But expect other returning members to reprise their respective roles.
Said Lasseter, “All the characters from â€˜Toy Storyâ€™â€”especially Woody and Buzzâ€”are so close to us. They seem more like family members than just creations. Not only do we dearly love the characters, but we also love the world of â€˜Toy Storyâ€™â€”the world where toys come to life when people are not in the room has always been rich with many story possibilities.”
Toy Story 4 is scheduled to be released on June 16, 2017.