Disney and Pixar are moving forward on a fourth instalment for one of their most popular series in the shape of Toy Story 4. John Lasseter, who helmed the first two features before handing over directorial duties to Lee Unkrich for the third, is on board to direct. Walt Disney Co. chief Bob Iger announced the news today during a conference call with analysts concerning the company’s fourth quarter results.
Prior to today, the last word on the fourth instalment came in 2011 when Tom Hanks revealed that the movie was in development by the animation studio. Since then, there’s been nothing else to indicate development had begun. While at this stage there’s no strong word on who will return, it’s expected that Hanks and Tim Allen, the two leading voice artists, will reprise their roles. Allen is a definite shoo-in as he has been contracted for Toy Story 4 since 2010.
The trilogy so far has achieved great worldwide success, and fans of the series have hoped for another outing for Woody, Buzz and co., ever since the third feature bowed in 2010. Toy Story 3 went on to gross over $1.1 billion at the global box office, snagging the title of highest grossing animated film of all time. That was until Disney’s most recent animated smash, Frozen, stole the crown earlier this year.
Taking a look at where it sits on the cinema calendar, the film will be released in June 2017, sharing the month with two other animation sequels. Universal’s Despicable Me 3 and Dreamworks’ How To Train Your Dragon 3 are currently situated during that same 30-day period, although it’s likely that one or both will be shuffled around by their respective studios. The specific date has yet to be confirmed, but there’s an Untitled Pixar Movie slated for June 16th, 2017, and it’s starting to look like that’ll be the day Toy Story 4 will land in theatres.