Following on from the announcement that Star Wars: Episode VII is going by the title of the The Force Awakens, Disney has dropped another huge piece of news today, with Bob Iger revealing that John Lasseter is returning to direct a fourth instalment in Pixar’s Toy Story series.
No further details were revealed, but is probably safe to assume that most – if not all – of the voice cast will be back for Toy Story 4, given that they have all reprised their roles for the upcoming TV special Toy Story That Time Forgot, which will air on ABC on December 2nd.
Here’s the official press release from Disney:
Nearly two decades after Pixar Animation Studios created the world’s first computer-animated feature film with “Toy Story,” it revealed plans for Disney•Pixar’s “Toy Story 4,” an adventure that returns audiences to the world of the studio’s signature characters.
John Lasseter, director of the original “Toy Story” and “Toy Story 2,” will direct the film, which opens a new chapter in the lives of Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the “Toy Story” gang. The story was dreamt up by Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter and Lee Unkrich, the storytellers who have been the driving force behind all three “Toy Story” 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, 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.”
Writing team Rashida Jones and Will McCormack (“Celeste and Jesse Forever”) joined the project, and Pixar veteran Galyn Susman (ABC’s “Toy Story OF TERROR!” and “Toy Story that Time Forgot”) is producing.
The film is slated for release in the US on June 16, 2017. UK release date TBC.