UPDATED: John Lasseter will direct Toy Story 4 and it will be released on June 16, 2017, Disney boss Bob Iger just said in the company’s earnings call with analysts. This is a bit of a shocker as the principals behind the three Disney/Pixar hits have often said there were no plans for a fourth pic in the franchise after Toy Story 3 came out in 2010 and grossed $1.063B worldwide, making it the top-grossing animated film of all time until Frozen overtook it earlier this year.
Lasseter, now chief creative office of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, directed the first two pics before turning over the threequel to Lee Unkrich.
(UPDATE: Disney says the story came from Lasseter, Unkrich, Andrew Stanton and Pete Docter, the Pixar veterans behind the other pics. Rashida Jones and Will McCormack, the team who penned the indie hit Celeste And Jesse Forever, have joined the project as writers. Pixar veteran Galyn Susman is producing.)
The release date had been staked out back in May when Disney unveiled targets for eight animated movies from Disney Animation and Pixar.