Former Pixar chief creative officer John Lasseter will still be getting a story credit on the upcoming Toy Story 4, along with seven other people. This movie has been in development for some time and it’s been a complicated process with some unexpected twists and turns along the way. As such, quite a few people contributed to the story as it’s evolved over the years and they will be getting their proper credit when the sequel is released later this month.
John Lasseter helped make Pixar the studio that it is today and directed all three of the previous Toy Story movies. However, last year he was accused of sexual misconduct by multiple people who worked with him over the years, in addition to fostering a work environment in which women and people of color were not given the same opportunities as men. Lasseter took a six-month leave following the accusations and, not long after, left the studio entirely, with longtime Pixar director Pete Docter, of Up and Inside Out fame, taking over as chief creative officer. As such, the fact that Lasseter will still be getting a “story by” credit is not insignificant.
Back when the project was first announced, Rashida Jones and her writing partner Will McCormack were brought on board to pen the screenplay for Toy Story 4. Originally, John Lasseter had called it a love story between Bo-Peep and Woody. That has since changed. Jones and McCormick eventually departed the project over “creative” and “philosophical” differences. The two writers are also going to retain a “story by” credit for their contributions. The rest of the credits belong to director Josh Cooley, story supervisor Valerie LaPointe, writer Stephany Folsom, writer Martin Hynes and Andrew Stanton, who previously worked on Pixar classics such as Finding Nemo and Wall-E.
The actual screenplay will ultimately be credited to Andrew Stanton and Stephany Folsom. Needless to say, it’s not all that common for eight people to share a story credit on a movie. But this situation, as it has unfolded and evolved, is anything but typical. When Toy Story 3 was released in 2010, many of us had assumed that would be the end of the franchise. And it felt like a fitting end at that. So the fact that Pixar has decided to continue on at all is interesting on its own. Coupled with everything that’s gone on during the movie’s long development, it will be fascinating to see how it all comes together in the end.
Fortunately, we’re not going to have to wait all that much longer to see what came of all this as Toy Story 4 is set to hit theaters on June 21. Will it have been worth it? Will this manage to be a worthy entry in the franchise while not sullying the legacy of what came before? Time will tell. This news was previously reported by The Hollywood Reporter.