'Toy Story 4' Has A Release Date!

I am shocked all over again every time I am reminded there is a fourth Toy Story movie happening. It's hard news for me to come to grips with, considering Toy Story is the rare franchise to never dip in quality or produce a dud. Lightning struck three times for Pixar, and they are seriously trying for a fourth? It boggles my mind grapes. Still, if I trust in anything it is the power of Pixar to surprise me, and thanks to Tom Hanks, I now know I have a few years to get used to the idea that the movie is really happening, because the actor confirmed that Toy Story 4 has a release date of June 2018.

Over the weekend, Hanks confirmed the Toy Story 4 release during an interview with Graham Norton. That means before the film premieres, Pixar will roll out Finding Dory , Cars 3 (be afraid, be very afraid), and the frankly magical sounding Coco, an original movie inspired by Día de los Muertos. Then after two sequels and Coco, the world will finally get to see Toy Story 4, a whopping 23 years after the original premiered. Anyone else feel ancient now? Just me? Fine, ignore my existential crisis while I tell you everything there is to know about the very different next installment in the adventures of Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the gang as they navigate a new frontier: romance.

Click Here To Watch

Toy Story 4 Premieres June 15, 2018

It was originally rumored that Toy Story 4 would hit theaters in 2017, but as I mentioned before, Hanks has confirmed the movie's 2018 release date. I can only speak for myself here, but I am not arguing with Woody himself. The actor also revealed to Norton that he's already recording lines for the movie. "We’re now recording Toy Story 4, so we’re doing that and it’ll be out in 2018," Hanks said in the interview. "It takes a long time. We’re working on it right now. I have a recording session on Dec. 2."

It's A Standalone Story

The trilogy is so perfect, even the good folks at Pixar don't think they could improve on it, so they aren't going to try. Toy Story 4 is set to feature the characters you know and love, but it isn't going to pick up where Toy Story 3 left off. This movie is doing its own thing, and that thing won't, to my knowledge, include as much emphasis on the importance of toys to humans and vice versa.

John Lasseter Is Directing

File this under excellent news: John Lasseter is directing. Lasseter is a Pixar legend and the man behind the first two Toy Story movies as well as Cars , A Bug's Life , and Cars 2 (I'm giving him a pass on that one). He is also psyched about telling this story. When the news was first revealed, Lasseter said in a Disney press release: "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, 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."

Rashida Jones Is One Of The Writers

Yes, that Rashida Jones, the one you worship from Parks & Recreation and The Office . Jones and her writing partner Will McCormack scripted the movie. You just got way more excited, didn't you?

Patricia Arquette Joined The Voice Cast

The Hollywood Reporter revealed Arquette is joining the Toy Story 4 cast as a hippie mom. Could she be Bonnie's mother? Details on new characters are scarce, but it's possible.

It's The Love Story Of Woody & Bo Peep

Woody and Bo Peep's flirtations always occurred in the background of the trilogy. Bo Peep was never a significant character. Literally all the movies ever said about her is that she liked Woody (and the feeling was mutual). This movie is putting Bo in the spotlight, according to Lasseter, as it explores the unfolding love story between Woody and Bo. This is a big shift for the franchise which has always emphasized platonic love above all else, but that is also exactly why it could work.

Pixar is taking characters you love and telling an entirely new kind of story with them — and the cool part is the groundwork for Woody and Bo's story has already been laid out. No one was clamoring for a Toy Story 4, but if the story is a good one, and I suspect this one will be, then it is worth going back to the world of Buzz and Woody to see it. It's OK to be anxious, but so far all the news points to another hit for Pixar.

Image: Pixar/Disney; Giphy (6)