In an interview with Entertainment Weekly yesterday, Pixar director Pete Docter shared a long-awaited update on Toy Story 4, coming almost a week after the announcement that the film’s release would be delayed yet another year, to 2019. Following some reflection on the 15th anniversary of Monsters Inc., which he directed, Docter went on to discuss the current status of the Toy Story sequel:
What is happening, though, is Toy Story 4, a franchise reboot that Docter is hoping won’t retread territory from the original trilogy, but will offer a thoroughly new take on the tale of Woody, Buzz, and friends that audiences haven’t seen yet. Pixar just announced it had moved The Incredibles 2 to 2018, thus pushing Toy Story 4 back to 2019; Docter, who is only helping develop the film’s story, assures that everything is going well and, as it were, perfectly shiny.
“It’s hard, because as we get in there, we realize you don’t want this to just be another regurgitation of something we’ve seen,” he updates. “We’ve really plumbed the depths of these characters with Woody and Buzz, so to find something new that hasn’t been done, I feel like we’re onto it now. But it’s taken some real deep investigative work.”
At EW’s last check-in with Pixar chief John Lasseter, the film was said to focus on the relationship between Woody and Bo Peep, who was absent in Toy Story 3. Docter confirms that the rom-com aspect is still very much alive.
“The last I saw, those were still elements that they’re playing with,” he says of the script, currently being penned by Rashida Jones and Will McCormack. “Again, it brings it to something that you haven’t seen before, which I think is what people want. On the one hand, you like the familiarity, you like these characters, you want to see them again — but if it was the same movie or it felt like, ‘Eh, it was a little bit like Toy Story 2,’ then we’re kind of sunk.”
It’s reassuring to finally receive some positive and hopeful news regarding Toy Story 4, after the disappointment of its second delay and the ominous remarks made by Andrew Stanton and Lindsey Collins in July. This isn’t the first time that Pete Docter has reported on the movie’s progress; he’s been a part of the writing team for at least a year, since before the first delay was announced. I’m glad to hear directly from him that production seems to have made a turn for the better, even if it’s been a long road getting there.
Although it hurts to have to wait even longer to see the toys again, I know Pixar wants to do right by these characters, and the story will be that much better for it. I’m happy that the film is still a rom-com, and I can’t wait to see what surprises the filmmakers have in store for us with Woody and Bo, as well as the others (some sweet moments between Buzz and Jessie are still my fangirl dream!). Now that things are on the right track, I hope that we’ll start to get some more substantial details about Toy Story 4 in the not-too-distant future. D23 Expo 2017 maybe? I’ll be there… pretty please, Pixar? I’ll be waiting…