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Update: ‘Toy Story 4′ Is Officially Happening, Gets a 2017 Release Date

Pixar

Even though we were told, once upon a time, that Disney and Pixar had no plans for ‘Toy Story 4,’ it seems that those plans have changed. After a series of short films and TV specials that kept us up to date with the adventures of Woody and Buzz Lightyear and friends, Disney CEO Bob Iger has just announced that we’ll finally be getting a ‘Toy Story 4′ after all, and it has an official release date and everything. Update: We have more details about the new sequel, which has added writers Rashida Jones (!!!) and Will McCormack.

Details are incredibly brief, but Iger made the announcement this afternoon (via Deadline), stating that Disney and Pixar are developing ‘Toy Story 4′ with plans to release the film in June 2017. John Lasseter, who directed the first two ‘Toy Story’ films, will return to direct the fourth installment.

Disney released additional details this evening, revealing that the story was formulated by Lasseter along with original ‘Toy Story’ franchise team Lee Unkrich (director of ‘Toy Story 3′), Andrew Stanton, and Pete Docter. Rashida Jones and writing partner Will McCormack have also joined the writing team. The pair previously wrote ‘Celeste and Jesse Forever,’ in which Jones also starred.

‘Toy Story 3′ ended so perfectly that it’s hard to imagine another sequel, and Lasseter acknowledges this in his statement:

“We love these characters so much; they are like family to us,” said Lasseter. “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, 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 3′ hit theaters in 2010, and the company previously said they had no plans for another sequel in the franchise; instead, they’ve delivered a series of annual short films and TV specials as a treat for fans of the series to enjoy the ongoing adventures of Andy’s favorite toy pals. Most recently, Pixar released the short ‘Partysaurus Rex’ with the 3D rerelease of ‘Finding Nemo,’ and up next the company will premiere the 22-minute Christmas-themed TV special ‘Toy Story That Time Forgot’ on ABC on December 2.

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