A New Screenwriter for ‘Toy Story 4’

It feels like it’s been forever since there have been any official reports on the progress of Toy Story 4 – the most recent hints being glimpses of work in progress at the D23 Expo this past summer.  The silence was broken yesterday, however, as news came out that Stephany Folsom has joined the film’s team as its new screenwriter.

This update comes nearly a year after Martin Hynes was mentioned by various credible sources as a writer for the sequel last March, although that information was never corroborated by Pixar.  It also follows Rashida Jones and Will McCormack’s departure from the project over “creative differences” at some undisclosed time in the past couple years.

Stephany Folsom is a relatively new screenwriter, and Toy Story 4 will officially be her biggest film to date; although she did apparently do some story work on Thor: Ragnarok that unfortunately went uncredited.  Her best-known script is the unproduced but well-received 1969: A Space Odyssey, or How Kubrick Learned to Stop Worrying and Land on the Moon, and she has done some work on television series as well.  She is also named as writer on a film that is still listed in development,  Missing You, according to iMDb.  Interestingly, the description of this story is that of a woman searching to find her missing husband at all costs.

Deadline’article breaking the news provided very few details regarding her addition to the Toy Story 4 team, so we don’t know whether this is a recent development, or if Folsom has been writing the script for a while now.  However, replies to her own tweet announcing the assignment suggest that she has been working on the movie for quite some time already.  Comments like “love that it’s finally out in the open” and “cat’s out of the bag” make me believe that she has in fact been involved with Pixar for months, and has reached the point where they’re confident that she’s the right screenwriter for the film and therefore are comfortable confirming it.  If this is the case, it makes sense that they waited to name her officially as the sequel’s writer, so as not to have her role overshadowed by the controversy surrounding Rashida Jones’ exit.

It seems that Pixar likes to work with up-and-coming screenwriters – Michael Arndt only had one film to his credit when he penned Toy Story 3, and we all know how fantastically that turned out.  So I’m optimistic and excited to see what Stephany Folsom will do with Toy Story 4.  Personally, I’m thrilled to see that there will be once again a “strong female voice” – as Pixar originally wanted – in the telling of Bo Peep’s story.

Toy Story 4 logo © Pixar, Stephanie Folsom photo © iMDb

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4 thoughts on “A New Screenwriter for ‘Toy Story 4’

  1. Dana January 19, 2018 / 6:33 pm

    **SIGH** Wow…..I just hope and pray that this new screenwriter knows what she is doing and will do what John Lasseter wanted for the story….that is that woody will find Bo and then (PRAYING) that she will come back with him. I’m sorry but I’m a little nervous about this……..does this mean the story is not even written yet? And how in the world can the movie come out next summer if the story isn’t even written yet???????? *SIGH** I just don’t know what to think.

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    • Heidi January 19, 2018 / 6:47 pm

      I’m sorry, I don’t want to be harsh, but do you read what I write in my blog posts? Every time something is posted about Toy Story 4, your reply is nearly identical, and always full of despair. This is POSITIVE news! From everything I could tell on social media, she has been working with Pixar for a while already, which means at least some script-writing has already taken place. And I still don’t understand why you only care about John Lasseter in all of this, when the film is made up of so many other talented filmmakers with brilliant visions for the story. Pixar has never indicated that the plot about Bo Peep has changed – I saw the concept art of her in the Animation presentation at D23 just this past summer – only the writer who’s bringing the characters’ voices to life has changed. Personally, I’m happy to see a female writer working on the film, and am excited to see what Stephany Folsom can do. Please try to be optimistic about Toy Story 4, instead of pessimistic all the time.

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      • Dana January 19, 2018 / 9:51 pm

        Okay I do not blame you if you hate me but…**SIGH** I;ll try to be positive but it is not exactly that easy….Don Rickles Passing, Allegations against John, new screenwriter……..**SIGH** I just don’t know what to think is all. Right now I do not even think the movie will even be out next year. I’m sorry but I was just so excited at first about John’s original idea, and I am just less excited with these things I mentioned that have been happening since he first announced his original idea……I just want it to be what he wanted, that’s all……..I do not know what else to say.

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