John Lasseter, the man behind the hugely successful series of Toy Story films has decided to step down from his position as director of Toy Story 4 to make room for some new blood. Josh Cooley has taken over the direction of the fourth film in the series though Lasseter will remain on board as an executive producer.
Toy Story 4 was announced all the way back in 2014, with Lasseter set to reprise his role as director, but the project has been since pushed back. Originally, it was scheduled to premiere in June of this year, but we won’t get to see our favorite toys on the big screen again until June 21st, 2019. As D23 continues in Anaheim, California this weekend, Lasseter met with IGN and gave an interview about the project as well as the future of Pixar studios.
“…I’m going to be working really closely with Josh and his team, mentoring him and teaching him everything I know”
Lasseter’s work on the first three Toy Story films helped to put Pixar on the map, and helped make it the powerhouse in film studio animation it is today. With him working on the project alongside Cooley, it’s all but guaranteed that the film will be amazing. Cooley came onto the project alongside Lasseter back in 2015 when he told Variety:
To be co-director on ‘Toy Story 4’ with John, who brought the ‘Toy Story’ characters to the screen 20 years ago, is a dream come true,” he told Variety in 2015. “When I first saw ‘Toy Story,’ I was amazed by the groundbreaking computer-generated animation. But it was the strong storytelling that kept me coming back. ‘Toy Story 4’ will continue that tradition and I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it!”
Now that he is leading the project as the sole director, he can put his own touch on the beloved classic. Cooley got his start at Pixar working as an intern on the first Cars film and moved up in the studio to become the head of story and co-writer of 2015’s Inside Out. Given the success of both of those films, it looks like the Toy Story franchise is in very good hands.
Toy Story 4 will bring back the original cast to include Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, with Rashida Jones and Will McCormack back to pen the story.