Disney and Pixar have announced Josh Cooley will join John Lasseter and co-direct the upcoming Toy Story 4, which the studio has already slated for a June 16, 2017 release.
Cooley recently told 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!”
When it comes to the sequel, we recently learned from Pixar president Jim Morris, “[Toy Story 4] is not a continuation of the end of the story of Toy Story 3. Temporarily it is, but it will be a love story. It will be a romantic comedy. It will not put much focus on the interaction between the characters and children. I think it will be a very good movie.” The statement doesn’t tell us much, but it does suggest the film may not be as simply as catching up with Woody, Buzz and the rest of the gang after Andy drops them off with their new owner Bonnie before he leaves for college at the end of the third film.
The idea for the new film was hatched with Lasseter along with fellow Pixar lifers, Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich and Pete Docter with Celeste & Jesse Forever scribes Rashida Jones and Will McCormack writing the screenplay.
As for Cooley, he began at Pixar with an internship in the story department, where he worked on Cars and recently worked as Head of Story on the upcoming Pixar film Inside Out, and directed a short that will be released on the Inside Out Blu-ray.
However, what may be even more fascinating about Cooley is his “Movies R Fun!” book of classic scenes from contemporary classic films drawn in an illustrated, for-early-readers style. Below is a sampling of his work and you can click here to buy it for yourself.