Toy Story 4 star Annie Potts, who returns to voice Bo Peep, reveals Pixar discarded most of the film's original script, which explains its prolonged delay. The project was first announced back in 2014, when the intention was for it to hit theaters in 2017. However, as the sequel made its way through the developmental process, it kept getting pushed back. Currently, it's secured in Pixar's June 2019 slot - a release date that director Josh Cooley re-confirmed only a couple months ago.
Difficult productions are no stranger to Pixar, but Toy Story 4 is arguably more troubled than most. Late last year, co-writers Rashida Jones and Will McCormack left the film, citing creative differences as the main reason for their departure. Given how long it takes for animated films to come together, the fact Toy Story 4's behind-the-scenes team was getting an upheaval at this stage raised a few eyebrows. But Pixar is definitely prepared, having pushed the film back to account for the screenplay changes.
In an interview with Radio Times, Potts discussed her involvement with Toy Story 4. She stated that Pixar ended up throwing out "three-quarters" of the script, leading to it swapping release windows with this summer's Incredibles 2:
“[Toy Story 4] was supposed to come out this year and then they threw out three-quarters of it and rewrote. Usually, it takes – from start to finish – two years. But because they threw most of it in the bin and started over [my time on the project has] been extended a little bit. I’ve done a lot of work on it.”
Considering how acclaimed the ending of Toy Story 3 was, there's an inherent risk for Pixar to return to this well and add another chapter to what is arguably Hollywood's perfect franchise. With that in mind, it's encouraging the filmmakers realized what they initially had wasn't working and went back to the drawing board. It would be a shame if the Toy Story legacy was spoiled by a mediocre installment, but story is king at Pixar, and everyone involved is going to make sure this fourth movie lives up to the incredibly high standard set by its predecessors. Despite their recent binge on sequels, Pixar is never one to make a quick cash grab, and Toy Story 4 wasn't a possibility they seriously considered for a while until the story was cracked years later. After Toy Story 3 grossed $1 billion in 2010, Pixar easily could have fast-tracked another followup, but they took their time.
Fortunately, things seem to be sailing much more smoothly now. In her interview, Potts confirmed she has recorded lines alongside Tom Hanks (who plays Woody, of course) and is enjoying the fact Bo Peep has such a significant part. The narrative revolves around Woody and Buzz Lightyear's quest to find Bo, who had been sold by Andy's family in a yard sale at some point between Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3. The character of Bo Peep never got proper closure, so it'll be nice to see her back on the big screen next year, where hopefully her story ends on a high note.
Source: Radio Times