John Lasseter said today he’d step aside as co-director of Toy Story 4, the latest in the franchise that put Pixar on the map. He told the crowd at D23 today that co-director Josh Cooley would take the reins of the movie, which has a June 16, 2019 release date.
Lasseter told the crowd today during Disney’s animation presentation that he will remain as executive producer and a consultant for Cooley, the screenwriter of Pixar’s Oscar-winning Inside Out. This marks his feature directorial debut.
Bob Iger announced plans for Toy Story 4 during a November 2014 earnings call with analysts, which took some by surprise as principals behind the three Disney/Pixar hits often said there were no plans for a fourth pic after Toy Story 3 came out in 2010. That movie grossed $1.063 billion worldwide, making it the top-grossing animated film of all time until Frozen beat it.
Lasseter, chief creative office of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, directed the first two pics before turning over the threequel to Lee Unkrich. Toy Story 4‘s story came from Lasseter, Unkrich, Andrew Stanton and Pete Docter, the Pixar veterans behind the other pics.