Though the long-awaited Toy Story 4 seems on course to finally land in cinemas next year, Pixar’s decade-closing 21st feature film hasn’t had the smoothest of journeys to release. Back in November, the movie’s original writers, Rashida Jones and Will McCormack, withdrew from the project amidst a slew of sexual misconduct allegations against the studio’s chief creative officer, John Lasseter.
According to actress Annie Potts, who will be reprising her role as Bo Peep in the upcoming sequel, this development led the film’s creative team to scrap most of what had been written so far, significantly delaying the release:
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.
Though Potts was notably absent from the series’ previous installment, Bo Peep is set to play a major role in Toy Story 4, with the movie focusing on the romantic relationship between the miniature shepherdess and Woody. According to Potts, this was the plan for her character even back in 2010 when Toy Story 3 came out. And if it seems strange to think that story ideas for Bo were already being put into place for the next film at least nine years in advance, Potts also reminds us that these are, after all, the perfectionists at Pixar that we’re talking about:
They’re funny those Pixar people. They just take their time. It’s very painstaking work. If they don’t like whole sections then they just chuck it and start over again. They have that great creative liberty to do that.
Before Toy Story 4 hits theaters on June 21st, 2019, this year will see the release of a Pixar sequel that’s taken even longer to get here, as Incredibles 2 finally arrives on June 15th. Only time will tell which of the two will do the more effective job of reducing a room full of adults to tears, though.