Toy Story 3 was a lovely end to the Toy Story movies, and it would have been fine if Disney and Pixar had kept on with just a series of Toy Story shorts so that we could check in with these characters without having to shove them back into theaters. However, since the property is basically a license to print money, it was only a matter of time before Toy Story 4 was forced upon us, and the upcoming sequel was announced last November with a release date given for June 16, 2017.
Back in March, we reported that Toy Story 4 wouldn’t be a direct sequel, and it would be the studio’s first romantic comedy. But between which two characters? Buzz and Jessie have always been cute, but according to GMA’s Twitter, Toy Story 4 will be a love story between Woody and Bo Peep:
— Good Morning America (@GMA) August 14, 2015
I guess this gives Pixar plenty of room to finally develop the Bo Peep character, who has always been a background love interest for Woody. She’s his girlfriend, but rarely an active character, and one who was increasingly pushed to the background in the sequels (she’s not even in Toy Story 3, and apparently in The Art of Toy Story 3 book, director Lee Unkrich says she was given away in a yard sale). If Pixar is intent on making this a love story, hopefully they finally flesh out her character and make her an equal with Woody rather than just putting a love story through his perspective.
Since Bo Peep will now have a significant role, it will be interesting to see if Pixar sticks with voice actress Annie Potts or goes for a bigger name. The studio has always been comfortable with going for the right voice over nabbing a celebrity, but since Toy Story 4 smacks of trying to pull in the biggest gross possible, I wouldn’t be surprised if they recast it. Expect to hear more about the film later today when Pixar has its presentation at D23.
Update: Listen to Disney’s Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter, who’s also a co-director on Toy Story 4, talk about D23 and the plot of the next Toy Story movie (via CNBC):