Following the release of Toy Story 4 this summer, Pixar is looking to focus on original films rather than sequels for the next few years. This creative decision comes on the heels of the appointment of Pete Docter as the animation studio’s Chief Creative Officer, who took over when John Lasseter stepped down following allegations of misconduct.
Lasseter was originally going to direct the film with Josh Cooley, but his contributions to the production will be recognized with a “story by” credit.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Toy Story 4 producer Mark Nielsen said, “There’s a lot of optimism about the future of the studio.” On Docter’s new role at the studio, Nielsen added, “He’s really looking out for the new voices and really loading up the development pool. It’s all original films after this one right now.”
The last few years saw the release of numerous original films, such as Coco, The Good Dinosaur, and Inside Out. Incredibles 2 came out last year, so Pixar will have released two sequels in a row after this June.
Docter has been a Pixar mainstay since the first Toy Story film in 1995. He went on to direct Monsters, Inc., Up, and Inside Out for the studio, all of which received critical acclaim upon release. Toy Story 4 marks the first film to release under this new Docter era of the studio.
Toy Story 4 hits theaters June 21. Their next film, the original feature Onward, is scheduled to hit theaters in March 2020.