The toys are alive! It’s a premise that has fueled many a horror movie and porcelain doll-inspired nightmare, but it also led to one of the biggest and most successful animation studios around: Disney’s Pixar.

Pixar launched into the public consciousness with Toy Story, a movie that has spawned two highly profitable sequels. The studio has since gone on to make a number of other movies with a general emphasis on original stories rather than franchises, but at some point Pixar always returns to the band of talking toys that catapulted them to success. It was a surprise to no one, then, when Tom Hanks broke the news all the way back in 2011 that Toy Story 4 was in development. John Lasseter is returning to direct alongside Josh Cooley.

Since then there have been a number of developments in regards to Toy Story 4, including an official release date and some hints at the movie’s plot, but there has been no word about when production would start. Now Hanks has once again spilled the beans, this time announcing on The Graham Norton Show (via ComicBook.com) that production is underway. After talking a bit about toiling in anonymity doing the voice of a cartoon character for children who have no idea who the actor behind him is, Hanks broke the news:

“We’re now recording Toy Story 4. So we’re doing that and it will be out in 2018, so it takes a long time… We are working on it right now. I have a recording session on the second of December.”

Hanks bulldozed past the news as if it were nothing, moving on to the topic of the pains his diaphragm goes through after hours of recording sessions. Norton would have none of it, though, gasping in enthusiasm at the revelation that production on the movie is underway. Hanks also mentioned getting in a bit of trouble with Disney’s lawyers for initially leaking the news that there was even going to beToy Story 4. Let’s hope this time around he got the OK from the suits beforehand.

Pixar has not always struck gold when it comes to sequels. Cars 2 was a bit of a disappointment, although that has apparently not stopped Pixar from planning a Cars 3. Still, Toy Story 3 was arguably the best of the original trilogy, bringing the series to a darker but ultimately more rewarding place than the first two films did. Only time will tell if Pixar can strike gold a fourth time, but with as much love and care as the studio has shown for Woody, Buzz Lightyear and friends, there’s no reason not to be optimistic.

Toy Story 4 opens in U.S. theaters on June 15th, 2018.

Source: The Graham Norton Show (via Comicbook.com)

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