Toy Story 4: Is a Schedule Shakeup Coming?


Ever since Toy Story 4 was announced in 2014, whenever there’s been a new Pixar film, I’ve sought out interviews with its filmmakers – I’ve found that it’s not uncommon for the Pixar Braintrust to be asked about Toy Story 4, and offer little hints or clues about its progress.  With Andrew Stanton, Lindsey Collins, and Angus MacLane on an international press tour to promote Finding Dory, I’ve unearthed a wealth of material lately – I really enjoyed Finding Dory, so I’ve been interested in the added insight into the making of that movie.  And In the past month since its release, the majority of the Toy Story 4 mentions have been the typical, brief “we can’t tell you” replies that we’ve come to expect from Pixar.  However, some of the statements made in the most recent interviews have me very concerned about the status of Toy Story 4′s production and where it is ultimately going to end up in Pixar’s schedule of upcoming releases.

This interview, published on July 19 by Hey U Guys, provides the only somewhat-reassuring current remarks about Toy Story4‘s ongoing work:

Finally, you’re writing Toy Story 4, at the moment, in the process of –

AS:  I helped kick it off.  I helped write sort of the treatment for it, but that’s about it.

I was just wondering, what sort of fans can expect from this film.  Is there kind of a skeleton narrative in place, or is that still very much under wraps anyway?

AS:  Well, there’s always a skeleton narrative.  But, if Finding Dory’s any testament, like, what you start with is not what you end with.  So, we’re very much in the middle of working on it, so I think even if we were to tell you everything right now, it would all change tomorrow.  So, it’s very much in progress.

With two years still left until it’s previously-stated official release date, and the typical Pixar film taking four to five years in production, it would make sense that it’s still firmly in the middle of its timeline.  I know stories are tweaked up until pretty much the end, so it’s not uncommon for things to be in flux at this point in the pipeline.  But should it be father along than it actually is?

Another video published on July 21 by the British Film Institute is much more worrisome.  When the panel is asked about the recent statements made by Pixar President Jim Morris, regarding no additional sequels being in production past the ones that have been announced, this was their reply:

LC:  Here’s the deal.  We wish we were that good at being able to predict which one of our movies is gonna be ready at any given time.  And the reality is, we have about six or seven going at any given time.  And at some point, we all have to kind of sit down at a meeting and go, alright, is it this one or this one that feels more ready to go?  And what’s happened is –

AS:  Its not by title, it’s by how good the story is working.

LC:  It’s like, literally, is the story working?  Which story is working to the point that we think that we can start moving it into production?  And so what happened is, we have all these plans of, like, sequel, original, sequel, original, then none of that works.  And so, we are now in a situation where we have a few sequels – a couple sequels – in a row, and then we have about three originals that are ready to go after that…  What it is, is that he’s basically saying that right now, we have a couple sequels lined up, and then we have a bunch of originals coming up after that, and after that who knows…  So the plan right now, at least what we can say, is that there’s a couple sequels coming out, and then there’s about two or three original films that are in the works.

It’s Cars and Incredibles?

LC: Yeah.  And then you have Coco, which has been announced, which is coming out kind of between those two.  And then beyond that is all originals right now.  That’s not to say that next year, when I’m sitting here, I’m like, “right, what I said last year is actually not true anymore.”

Was the acknowledgment of Cars 3 and Incredibles 2 being the two upcoming sequels – omitting Toy Story 4 – merely an oversight on the part of the panel?  Or is it hiding a dramatic change in the schedule that would postpone Toy Story 4 a second time, even farther away than the previous reschedule from June 2017 to June 2018?  It pains me to admit it, but it doesn’t look good.

Finally, this video published on July 26 by Flickering Myth – the first I discovered, and the one that sent me digging for more – seems to confirm my fears that a postponement is imminent:

LC:  I think that the issue right now is that we have, you know, tons of movies in production, and we always are assessing kind of which ones feel like their story is in good shape.  And then once that’s there, we kind of go – okay, if that story is in good shape, then we’ll move that into that slot, and we’ll hold on this one – and it changes, honestly, every six months.

AS:  Human beings, especially journalists, want to make some pattern out of something, and put some conspiracy theory; and the truth is, nobody knows what they’re doing.  And all we are doing is releasing based on when the story bakes well enough.  So, we can go in with the best-laid plans, and it looks great on the calendar, but if the story’s not right, we’re not going to release it yet.

Are you working on a part of Toy Story 4?

AS:   Somebody is.  Not me, I’m sitting here.

Oh, not you, somebody else.  But is that your next big one?

LC:  Well, we have a lot.  Again, I feel like I’m gonna say yes or say no, and then I’m gonna to go back to work after doing this press, and they’re gonna say, ‘that’s all changed!’  So I feel – I’m very hesitant to kind of ever commit to that, because I feel like we always are changing things around based on whether or not the story is working.  I think there’s a screening of it coming up, that we’ll take a look at, and probably decide at that point.

It’s been just a little more than six months since Toy Story 4‘s release date was pushed back a year.  Was Incredibles 2 moved up because that story is “baking” better?  Or is the schedule shift described here in reference to the previous flip-flop of Cars 2 and Toy Story 4 dates?  Everything is extremely vague, but I can’t say I feel optimistic about any of this.

A little sleuthing reveals that, regardless of the published date of these videos online in the past week, they were actually filmed earlier in July.  The BFI “Funday Preview” event was held on July 10 in London, with the other two appearing to have been recorded the same day as the Finding Dory UK press conference on July 11.  Therefore, these remarks were made less than two weeks after Entertainment Weekly’s July 1 interview with Pixar’s President, Jim Morris, that Lindsey Collins is referencing in the questions about the studio’s schedule of releases.  In that article – which stated that no new sequels were currently in development after the ones that have been announced, and which has been widely misconstrued by other sites as if to say there will never be any more sequels at all – Morris said:

“Everything after Toy Story and The Incredibles is an original right now.”

This contradicts Lindsey Collins’s timeline in the BFI video, which makes me hope that her statements on the number of upcoming sequels, and her agreement to those sequels being only Cars 3 and Incredibles 2, were a simple mistake that was missed in the live and on-the-spot nature of a panel discussion.

I truly hope that I’m merely panicking, reading too much into the statements being made, and jumping to conclusions based on cryptic responses – nothing would make me happier than to be proved completely and totally wrong in this instance!  But with Pete Docter having been brought on to help with story last year, and the initial postponement, there have obviously been some story issues going on.  Nevertheless, Tom Hanks has confirmed that he’s been recording with Annie Potts, so some progress has been made.  All I can say for sure is I’ll be diligently searching for more information in the coming weeks and months, and hoping for the best for my favorite film franchise.


10 thoughts on “Toy Story 4: Is a Schedule Shakeup Coming?

  1. Rebecca K. July 27, 2016 / 1:10 pm

    Boy, do I hope you’re wrong! I hope it’s just a panic session. Personally, I feel that if Tom Hanks and Annie Potts have been recording-however many six month segments that takes-and Tim Allen is already confirmed to do Buzz’s voice, and John Lasseter is planning this as a special tribute to his wife, surely the movie will be completed. But, hey yeah! No more delays, please!!

    We were already disappointed about how long it was reported to be released, no, no, no. I sure hope that doesn’t happen. Hey, if it’s already going to take two years to release this movie, surely they’re going to do a superb job on it. At least, they better! In the mean time, some shorts would be nice to close in the gap ’til then.

    For now, try to stay calm and just keep swimming!-grin-


    • Heidi July 27, 2016 / 2:52 pm

      I have never wanted to be proven wrong so much in my life! 😛 I would hope, too, that with all the recording that’s been done already, and with the returning (and new) cast that’s already been signed on, that things are relatively okay. I am bracing myself for a delay, though – which is extra disappointing since I’m going to the D23 Expo next summer, and was hoping to be able to see a preview there.

      I did just discover that these interviews took place around the time of July 10-11, so we’ve already had nearly three weeks pass since then. And this was all shortly after Pixar’s President listed Toy Story 4 as an upcoming sequel in his interview with Entertainment Weekly. So who knows what it all means – Pixar is notorious for being secretive and sneaky when it comes to their future films. I also found a video from this same time, where Andrew Stanton said that no matter how difficult things became during the making of Finding Dory, they never considered giving up on it, because so many people wanted to see it. So there’s hope in that.

      That’s all we can do, right? Jessie never gives up. 🙂


  2. Dana July 29, 2016 / 11:46 pm

    Okay….now you’ve got me scared……..I mean, REALLY scared……….what if this movie never gets made? What if they change so many things that Lasseter will not want to make it anymore? OH DEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m a real pessimist and a worrier in the first place so I am just going to assume this movie will never be made……it’s just very sad….no more Woody…I was really upset when Bo was not in toy story three too….shameful. **SIGH** well, I am just going to keep thinking this movie will never be made. **SOB**


    • Heidi July 30, 2016 / 9:37 am

      I don’t want to think things are that dire… read the other comments to this post, there are some things said in there that might make you feel better. 🙂 I can’t claim to be any sort of insider, and I don’t know what motives were really behind the statements they made in those interviews; it’s possible they were just trying to be mysterious, and I’m reading too much into it, so don’t panic just yet. I tend to be a worrier too, and I worry about the movie myself, because these characters and their world mean a lot to me. I’m preparing myself for a delay… but that may never happen, either; if there are issues, they could work everything out in time. It’s just one of those wait-and-see situations, unfortunately, but Pixar loves these characters, and have hyped the movie a lot already, so I’m sure they’re going to do everything they can to make it happen and make it the best it can be.


      • Dana August 25, 2016 / 3:46 pm

        I’m also depressed and discouraged because some people on Disney message boards just do not seem to like Bo! They do not want woody to get back together with her!! They want Woody to have a different Girlfriend!! They sound so convincing that Woody and Bo will not stay together!! I am SO scared that Woody and bo will not stay together at the end of the movie…..I’m…I’m….almost ready to decide not to see this movie anymore!!! **SIGH** **SOB**


      • Heidi August 29, 2016 / 10:09 am

        Disney message boards are full of negative complainers who are never happy with anything, so don’t put any stock into what they say. They know NOTHING about what’s really going to happen – the people who are actually on the inside at Pixar have more integrity than to threaten their job and the studio by whining online. Pixar isn’t concerned with what trolls think – they’re gonna follow their own creative inspiration for the movie. And there’s no way to predict what exactly they’re going to do with Woody and Bo’s story, since their films are always full of twists and surprises, but I highly doubt it won’t end happily, even if there are some serious struggles along the way. Why would they bother adding her back into the Toy Story Mania ride, and other things, if she wasn’t going to be around in the long run?


  3. Dana August 31, 2016 / 8:49 pm

    **SIGH** Heidi, you are very sweet and you have a gift for words and I do not!! Well…….I really , really REALLY hope that when they find her, they will stay together!!! But I’m still scared they will not!! Maybe I’m being stupid, but it will really spoil the movie for me if they do not stay together! I also know that Pixar has stated that they will NOT make any sequels for any of their movies but rather they will make original idea movies after the Incredibles’ sequel in 2019………so, that means that after THIS Toy story movie, there won’t be more. So that means that Woody and Bo BETTER stay together in this movie or else it would be a cliffhanger!! And I hate cliffhangers!! **SIGH** I wish I could feel more positive about this movie, but right now I really don’t feel as great as I once did about it.


    • Heidi August 31, 2016 / 9:09 pm

      All Pixar’s president said was that they have no more sequels in development AT THIS TIME. He never said that there would never be another Pixar sequel made ever – it’s just up to the original filmmaker to want to make a sequel, and the most popular franchises either already have a recent sequel or one in current production, so there’s no way they’d be thinking that far down the line already. That one little statement got so twisted around by unscrupulous click-bait sites, and became nothing like what he originally said. And Pixar always makes their stories complete, they’ve never once made a cliffhanger. So there’s no reason to expect the worst and panic.


Comments are closed.