Given that the critically-acclaimed Toy Story 3 felt like a definitive end to the animated trilogy, fans were a tad confused as to where the story could go next when Disney and Pixar announced a fourth film last year.
Pixar president Jim Morris, however, has cleared up such confusion by confirming that the next instalment in the franchise will not directly continue the story from the last film, which ended with Woody and Buzz Lightyear finding a new, loving home after their owner, Andy, goes off to college.
“The third movie ended in a beautiful way and completed a trilogy,” Morris told Disney Latino. “I think this movie is not part of the trilogy. It is a separate story,” he said.
So, what will Toy Story 4 actually be about then? Well, Morris goes on to add that while it will be rooted in the world after Toy Story 3, it will eventually spin off into its own sort of standalone romantic comedy, rather than become a continuation of the end of the last film.
“It will be a love story. It will be a romantic comedy. It will not put much focus on the interaction between the characters and children. I think it will be a very good movie.”
This means, presumably, that Toy Story 4 will be more like a feature-length version of Toy Story Toons: various shorts and specials which take place after Toy Story 3, but are standalone stories focusing on what the toys get up to when left to their own devices.
According to Morris, the film is currently in its third table read, with its script “evolving very well.” He also reiterated that they are not making Toy Story 4 for the money, but because they came up with an “irresistible” idea.
“The decision to make a second or third [instalment] entirely depends on how passionate the director of the project is,” he said.
John Lasseter, who has directed all three Toy Story films so far, will return to direct the fourth from a script by Rashida Jones and Will McCormack. Tom Hanks and Tim Allen are expected to reprise their respective roles as Woody and Buzz, but nothing has been confirmed as of yet
Toy Story 4 is expected to be released on June 16th 2017.