Your favorite sentient toys are back in action!
Disney announced late Thursday, on a call with investors, that animation head John Lasseter will direct a fourth Toy Story film that will be released on June 16, 2017.
Tom Hanks and Tim Allen are expected to reprise their roles as Woody and Buzz Lightyear.
The film will be a love story, Lasseter told the Los Angeles Times, that picks up following the events of the third Toy Story installment, which was released in 2010 and earned more than $1 billion at the box office. That movie (see trailer below) saw the toys find a brand-new home with a little girl named Bonnie after a harrowing adventure through a nightmarish day-care center.
Lasseter developed the idea with fellow Pixar veterans Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter, and Lee Unkrich. Pixar then brought in the team of Rashida Jones (best known for her acting on The Office and Parks and Recreation) and Will McCormack, who collaborated on the 2012 romantic dramedy Celeste and Jesse Forever.
Lasseter directed the first Toy Story, which came out 19 years ago this month, and 1999’s Toy Story 2. The franchise has become remarkably successful, spawning two sequels and several TV shorts, and grossing more than $1.9 billion worldwide.
“We love these characters so much; they are like family to us,” Lasseter said in a statement. “We don’t want to do anything with them unless it lives up to or surpasses what’s gone before.
“Toy Story 3 ended Woody and Buzz’s story with Andy so perfectly that for a long time, we never even talked about doing another Toy Story movie. But when [we] came up with this new idea, I just could not stop thinking about it. It was so exciting to me, I knew we had to make this movie — and I wanted to direct it myself.”
The Toy Story 3 trailer: