During last weekend’s D23 Expo, it was announced that John Lasseter has stepped down as director on Disney-Pixar’s Toy Story 4, handing over the reins to Pixar veteran Josh Cooley, who will make his feature directorial debut on the sequel.
Speaking to MTime (via Dark Horizons), Lasseter has explained his decision, revealing that between his positions as chief creative officer of Pixar Animation Studios, Walt Disney Animation Studios and DisneyToon Studios, he’s just too busy to commit to directing a movie.
“I always felt like I need to keep directing, and that’s why I decided to do Toy Story 4 initially, but I oversee three studios and I think I counted 24 feature films I’m overseeing, and it was not really practical, to be blunt,” said Lasseter. “But also what made it easy was Josh Cooley was amazing; wait until you see it – he is so good. And it was time to let go of the bike and let him ride, and he’s doing a great job. It’s really fantastic. I do get creative satisfaction from being the executive producer, the chief creative officer, and helping all of these great filmmakers. So that’s what made the decision for me, and I’m loving what I do. I have the best job in the world.”
Toy Story 4 is set for release on June 21st, 2019.