Hitting theaters more than a decade after its predecessor, expectations were high for Toy Story 3 when the film was released in 2010, but even the most stalwart fans of Buzz and Woody were surprised by the film. Not only did it become the all-time highest-grossing animated film (until Disney’s own Frozen topped it just a few years later), but it provided a pitch-perfect conclusion to the franchise.

So, when another sequel was officially announced, fans were left scratching their heads and wondering what the team at Pixar had in mind for a follow-up. While plot details of Toy Story 4 remain vague, we at least have some new information on one of the key storytellers behind the film.

Disney/Pixar took to Twitter to announce that Josh Cooley will serve as co-director of Toy Story 4, alongside Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios John Lasseter. Cooley has worked on a number of Pixar projects in the past decade, but most recently served as head of story for this summer’s Inside Out.

inside out trailer pixar 2015 Toy Story 4 Adds Josh Cooley as Co Director

The selection of Cooley for such a high-profile gig certainly bodes well for Inside Out – one of our most anticipated films this year – and is a testament to the faith that Lasseter and his team have in his storytelling abilities. After all, Lasseter served as director of the first two Toy Story films, and there are few people within the company who are as familiar with the studio’s most iconic characters as him.

Considering that Cooley hasn’t played this large a role in any of Pixar’s projects released to date, it’s difficult to form an opinion of whether he is up to the task of taking such a beloved franchise in what sounds more and more like it aims to be something of a fresh start, story-wise, for Woody, Buzz and the gang.

However, he couldn’t hope for a better directing mentor than Lasseter, and regardless of any misgivings some fans may have about continuing the Toy Story franchise on the big screen, there’s every chance that – with the team Disney/Pixar is putting together for this project – this fourth entry could prove to be another winner.

What do you think of the addition of Cooley as co-director for Toy Story 4? Are you looking forward to this new sequel? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Toy Story 4 will hit theaters on June 16, 2017.

Source: Disney/Pixar

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