Toy Story 4 director Josh Cooley confirms the sequel is still on track to make its previously scheduled June 2019 release date. Despite the third installment in Pixar's flagship franchise ending the trilogy on the highest of notes, the studio feels there's at least one more feature-length film before closing the book on Woody and Buzz Lightyear again. The project was first announced way back in 2014 and has been in development ever since. Most recently, Toy Story 4 hit a bit of a snag when original writers Rashida Jones and Will McCormack stepped down late last year due to creative differences. Uncredited Thor: Ragnarok scribe Stephany Folsom took over a few months ago.
Animated films typically take years to complete, so it's a little concerning to see Toy Story 4 get a rewrite so soon before its release. One might have presumed Pixar would look to delay the project to give the filmmakers more time to iron everything out, but as of now, they're sticking to the plan. Woody and the toys will be back in town next summer.
Director Cooley took to Twitter and posted a picture of the number 4 constructed via red and yellow Post-It notes, very clearly modeled in the classic Toy Story font. His caption emphatically states "JUNE 21, 2019," meaning that's when the movie will release. Check it out for yourself below:
It'll be interesting to see how Toy Story 4 comes together with the turnaround in its creative team, as the rewrites no doubt put the various teams directly under the gun. For comparison's sake, Brad Bird started work on the Incredibles 2 script in 2015, and that movie finally sees the light of day this summer. And even there, the decision to push Incredibles 2 up by a whole year (it was originally scheduled for June 2019) made things tight for the crew. It's unknown just how much of Toy Story 4 is being revised, however. Perhaps it's not as severe as a page one rewrite, as a story from John Lasseter (who's in the midst of his leave of absence and may not return following allegations of inappropriate conduct), Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter, and Lee Unrich has been in place from the beginning. Maybe the foundation is strong enough that the art teams have been able to do their work and stay on schedule, with the finer details to be added later.
Regardless, Toy Story 4 is going to be a rush to the finish line, and hopefully the final product doesn't suffer as a result. The series is one of the most acclaimed in Hollywood history, and it would be a shame if that legacy was tarnished with an underwhelming fourth chapter. However, troubled productions are nothing new for Pixar, or the Toy Story franchise. 1999's Toy Story 2 was on a very compressed schedule and was changed from a direct-to-video to theatrical release late in the game. That film turned out just fine, so ideally the case will be the same here.
Source: Josh Cooley
- Toy Story 4 (2019) release date: Jun 21, 2019