‘Toy Story 4’ Adds Josh Cooley as Co-Director with John Lasseter

From firstshowing.net by Ethan Anderton:

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We’ve still got a couple years before Toy Story 4 hits theaters on June 16th, 2017, but since animated movies require a lot of hard work over a long period of time, Pixar Animation is moving right along on crafting the feature film. When the project was announced last fall, the original film’s director and Pixar COO John Lasseter was revealed to direct, but now the animation powerhouse has announced that Inside Out head of story Josh Cooley will join Lasseter as co-director on the sequel. Cooley started from the bottom as an intern in the story department on Cars, and look where he’s at now. That’s pretty amazing.

Here’s the announcement from Pixar Animation about the news on Twitter:

You might remember Cooley because we highlighted children’s book illustrations of scenes in R-rated films like Pulp Fiction and Alien that were turned into an awesome Golden Book style collection called Movies R Fun (you can buy it right here). It’s great to see someone as talented as Cooley getting a chance to rise up the ranks and now get this dream job. Cooley tells Variety:

“To be co-director on ‘Toy Story 4’ with John, who brought the ‘Toy Story’ characters to the screen 20 years ago, is a dream come true. When I first saw ‘Toy Story’ I was amazed by the groundbreaking computer-generated animation. But it was the strong storytelling that kept me coming back. ‘Toy Story 4’ will continue that tradition and I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it!”

In addition, Disney CEO Bob Iger recently revealed some interesting tidbits on the project (via Variety). The remarks were translated from Disney Latino by The Daily Telegraph, so do with that information what you will, but Iger said, ““It will be a romantic comedy.” He adds that unlike Toy Story 3, which closed a trilogy story arc so well, this film will not put much emphasis on the relationship between our favorite toys and their owners. He said it won’t really be a continuation of the same story from the first three films, “In temperament it is, but it will be a love story.”

In a way that sounds a little worrisome, but ever since John Lassester stepped up to take a more prominent position at Disney in addition to his role at Pixar, we know they won’t make sequels that they don’t believe in, so we’re hoping for the best. The script comes from Rashida Jones and Will McCormack (both of Celeste and Jesse Forever) with the story cracked by Lassester, Andrew Stanton, Peter Doctor and Lee Unkrich. That’s a hell of a lot of talent on this one, so there shouldn’t be anything to worry about. Tom Hanks, Tim Allen and Joan Cusack have all be confirmed to return, but we’re waiting for more details still. Stay tuned.

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