Toy Story 4 has traveled a bumpy path to completion, pushed back repeatedly from its original release date in 2017 to 2018, and again, to 2019. Along the way, key people have been replaced, including the film’s original director, John Lasseter, who lost the gig to Pixar story veteran Josh Cooley (screenplay, Inside Out; director, Riley’s First Date?). The directorial switch was made long before Lasseter was forced into a sabbatical at Disney and Pixar for sexual misconduct claims.
Screenwriters Rashida Jones and Will McCormack also left the project in a very public split in November 2017, citing “creative and, more importantly, philosophical differences.” They’ve since been replaced by writer Stephany Folsom. And producer Galyn Susman was swapped out for Inside Out producer Jonas Rivera and Inside Out associate producer Mark Nielsen.
It’s not just the personnel that have been switched around, but the script too. According to Annie Potts, voice of Bo Peep, at some point during the production Pixar “threw out three-quarters of [the script] and rewrote.” Potts said that she typically works on an animated film for two years, “but because they threw most of it in the bin and started over [my time on the project has] been extended a little bit. I’ve done a lot of work on it.”
Toy Story 4 will be released in the U.S. on June 21, 2019.