Toy Story 3 had long been called the final film in the franchise by Disney and Pixar. It didn't look like another feature film would happen, with Woody, Buzz and the rest of the toy box characters shuffled off to the land of Pixar shorts. But Pixar surprised everyone in November of last year when the animated sequel Toy Story 4 was officially announced. Tom Hanks and Tim Allen have been attached to the follow-up as far back as 2010, when there wasn't supposed to be another movie. None of the other voice cast members have ever been confirmed. But that changes today. Yes, everyone's favorite grump Mr. Potato Head will return. And legendary comedian Don Rickles will be back to provide his voice. The 89-year-old actor had this to say about his return.
"They just signed me to do the fourth Toy Story. We start [work on it] in September, and I'm very delighted with that. When John [Lasseter] approached me for the first one, I said, 'I don't do comedy with cartoons, dummies and toys. Leave me alone.' And [John] said, 'No, you're gonna love this!' Then he told me the money and how nice it was going to be and, I said, 'Yeah, I can give it a try.' All of a sudden it's going on 17 years."
Not too much about the story has been revealed, or where exactly Don Rickles' Mr Potato Head will fit in. John Lasseter will direct Toy Story 4 after having directed the first two films in the series. Rashida Jones and Will McCormack are writing the screenplay, based on a story dreamed up by Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter and Lee Unkrich. The follow-up will not fall in line with the previous films, which are viewed as their own trilogy. This movie will open a new chapter in the lives of Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the Toy Story gang. John Lasseter had this to say in a statement at the time Toy Story 4 was officially announced.
"We love these characters so much; they are like family to us. We don't want to do anything with them unless it lives up to or surpasses what's gone before. Toy Story 3 ended Woody and Buzz's story with Andy so perfectly that for a long time, we never even talked about doing another Toy Story movie. But when Andrew, Pete and Lee and I came up with this new idea, I just could not stop thinking about it. It was so exciting to me, I knew we had to make this movie-and I wanted to direct it myself."
Toy Story 4 already has a set released date of June 16, 2017, which will be seven years after the last installment. One thing that will sepearte this new tale is the fact that no humans will be involved in the story. It has been described as a 'romantic comedy', but whose romance it is has yet to be revealed. Pixar studio president Jim Morris had this to say about the animated adventure this past March.
"The third movie ended in a beautiful way and completed a trilogy. I think this movie is not part of this trilogy. It is a separate story, which in turn I do not know if will be continued. Never begin a project with that in mind. It is not a continuation of the end of the story of Toy Story 3. Temporarily it is, but it will be a love story. It will be a romantic comedy. It will not put much focus on the interaction between the characters and children. I think it will be a very good movie."
It's not likely that Mr. Potato Head will have an affair, as he and his lovely wife Mrs. Potato Head have been together for far too long, and that just wouldn't be very funny. It's more likely that Woody or Buzz will be at the center of a new relationship, but with who? That's the big mystery. We'll surely learn more as production continues. Pixar doesn't usually keep their story lines too much of a mystery.