Disney, Pixar announce ‘Toy Story 4’ with 2017 release date

Nov 7, 2014, 2:52 PM | Updated: 2:52 pm

If you thought the “Toy Story” saga ended in 2010 following the third film, think again.

Disney and Pixar shocked fans Thursday by revealing plans to bring back the lovable gang of playthings in the film’s fourth installment, presumably titled “Toy Story 4.”

John Lasseter, who brought Woody and Buzz Lightyear to life in 1995, will return to the directing chair. Rashida Jones and Will McCormack are set to pen the script. A recent press release didn’t specify if Tom Hanks, Tim Allen and the rest of the original cast would return, but it’s most likely they will.

For now, fans are left in the dark about the new film’s plot, though the ending of “Toy Story 3” emotionally set the scene for a future storyline when college-bound Andy handed down his toys to a young girl named Bonnie.

While the “Toy Story” franchise has been enormously successful for nearly 15 years, the initial reaction of a fourth film was split. Entertainment Weekly pointed out fans and those within Pixar alike are nervous that an additional film could hurt the franchise’s legacy.

In a statement, Lasseter tried to calm those nerves: “We love these characters so much, they are like family to us,” he wrote. “We don’t want to do anything with them unless it lives up to or surpasses what’s gone before.”

The film is still a long way from hitting theaters. “Toy Story 4” is scheduled to release June 16, 2017.

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Disney, Pixar announce ‘Toy Story 4’ with 2017 release date