Toy Story 4 director Josh Cooley claims that longtime Pixar figure Andrew Stanton was already working on an outline for Buzz and Woody's latest adventure before Toy Story 3 was even released. Unlike many movie studios, Pixar have always shown a certain reluctance to produce sequels unless they have a promising story in mind, and this dedication to quality resulted in an 11-year gap between Toy Story 2 and its follow-up. The third movie in the Toy Story franchise hit plenty of emotional notes and wrapped up the story in a way that fans seemed unanimously pleased with, despite many having fits of uncontrollable sobbing as a college-bound Andy reluctantly handed over Woody to another child.
At the time, Pixar claimed that they had no plans for a Toy Story 4, but that very film is due to release in theaters this week. Featuring the familiar, much-loved cast from previous films, Toy Story 4 finds Buzz and Woody lost once again, encountering brand new toys, an exciting fairground and a depressed spork. Toy Story 4 also features the long-awaited return of Bo Peep, who vanished without much fanfare between Toy Story 2 and 3, as well as exciting new characters such as Keanu Reeves' Duke Caboom. Despite a general feeling that the Toy Story franchise had found a natural conclusion in its third film, early reaction to the latest movie has been incredibly positive thus far.
Since Pixar initially claimed that they had no plans for Toy Story 4, it's natural to assume the studio perhaps gave in to temptation some time during the past nine years, or were perhaps even convinced by Disney to churn out another sequel and wait for the cash to roll in. According to director Josh Cooley, however, this is very much not the case. As reported by ComingSoon, Cooley claims that Andrew Stanton, who has worked on all of the previous Toy Story movies, was concocting a potential fourth installment at a very early stage:
"Andrew Stanton, one of the writers, who’s written on all the Toy Story films, one of the godfathers of Toy Story, he actually started the outline for number 4 while 3 was still finishing. But he kept it secret. We didn’t know, I’m speaking for all of us."
The fact that Stanton kept his designs secret explains why Lee Unkrich initially stated there were no plans for a Toy Story 4 - there were, he just didn't know about them. This story also suggests the continuation of the Toy Story world has less to do with releasing a sure-fire box office hit and more to do with the fact that the Pixar team can't help but return to their old favorites, even when there's no official plans to do so.
Undoubtedly, the amount of sequels and reboots currently emanating from Hollywood is stifling originality in the movie industry, but Pixar's quality control has always ensured a high standard from the studio, even four movies deep into a franchise. Furthermore, Pixar have recently confirmed that Toy Story 4 is the last sequel they have planned for the foreseeable future and consequently, there are seemingly no plans in motion for a Toy Story 5. Although someone at the company might want to check Stanton's desk just to be sure.
Source: Coming Soon
- Toy Story 4 (2019) release date: Jun 21, 2019