Legendary actor and comedian Don Rickles passed away at the age of 90 earlier this week. Many of us are still very sad that he is gone, but he left behind a tremendous and incredible body of work for us to admire and enjoy for many years to come. For many younger folks out there, they probably know him best as the voice of Mr. Potato Head in the Toy Story movies. Disney and Pixar are currently working on Toy Story 4 and sadly, Don Rickles hadn't recorded any of his dialogue for the movie prior to his passing.
The Hollywood Reporter was able to confirm that Don Rickles hadn't yet recorded any dialogue as Mr. Potato Head for Toy Story 4. Pixar is reportedly in the process of doing rewrites on the movie and he had not yet been called in to record is part. It isn't clear how large of a role Mr. Potato Head was going to have in Toy Story 4, but he was a significant character in the first three Toy Story movies, so it is easy to imagine that he would at least be in this new movie a reasonable amount. It also isn't clear if Pixar is going to change things now that Don Rickles won't be able to voice the character in Toy Story 4.
Not a whole lot is known about Toy Story 4 at the moment, but it is said that the movie is going to focus on the gang looking for Bo Peep, who didn't appear in Toy Story 3. The movie is set to be co-directed by Josh Cooley and John Lasseter, who directed the original Toy Story. Following the news of Don Rickles' passing, Pixar released a statement from Lasseter, honoring the late comedian who had been a big part of the Toy Story franchise. Here is what he had to say.
"Don Rickles was a comic genius, and here at Pixar we were honored to also call him a friend. The wit, personality, and incredible timing he brought to Mr. Potato Head lit up the character and made him an essential part of the Toy Story ensemble. Even though Mr. Potato Head's facial features fell off in every Toy Story movie his heart never left him, that was because of Don. We will miss him tremendously."
Pixar has had many hits over the years, but the original Toy Story put them on the map and it has been their most reliable and bankable franchise over the years. To date, the movies have grossed nearly $2 billion at the box office combined, with Toy Story 3 pulling in a very impressive $1.06 billion on its own back in 2010. What's more is that Toy Story and Toy Story 2 both hold a perfect score of 100 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, with Toy Story 3 boasting a nearly perfect 99 percent approval rating.
It is possible that Pixar will end up recasting the role of Mr. Potato Head for Toy Story 4. They have already done this in the past when Jim Varney, who voiced Slinky Dog, passed away and Blake Clark stepped into to replace him. It is unclear at this point in time how Disney and Pixar will approach it, but we'll likely find out in the relatively near future. Toy Story 4 is set for release on June 21, 2019.