John Lasseter Steps Down From Directing ‘Toy Story 4’, Josh Cooley To Be Credited | Film News
Head of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation John Lasseter will step down from directing Toy Story 4, it was announced this weekend at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California. Lasseter will instead assume his usual Executive Producer duties with Josh Cooley taking over, making his feature directorial debut with this fourth installment of the popular franchise.
It was at an international press conference immediately following the D23 panel that Lasseter explained his directorial departure. He said: “I always felt like I need to keep directing, and that’s why I decided to do Toy Story 4 initially, but I oversee three studios and I think I counted 24 feature films I’m overseeing, and it was not really practical, to be blunt.”
He continues, “directing an animated movie like this takes years of daily commitment, and to do it along with all his other jobs simultaneously seems kind of impossible. Plus, the third Toy Story was also directed by a first timer, and that turned out pretty well“.
Lasseter makes some good points. His commitment to three studios would be enough work for anyone, and yet he continues to strive and contribute as much as he can to the animation industry. And all while wearing a Hawaiian shirt. It’d be better to have someone else direct with all their effort, than Lasseter make a tired attempt with time he doesn’t have.
Toy Story and Toy Story 2 were loved by audiences under Lasseter’s direction, but Toy Story 3 was received all the same. So, it’ll be exciting to see what Josh Cooley can bring to the table. Cooley has worked his way up Pixar since joining as an intern in 2004, working on storyboards for The Incredibles and screenwriting on Inside Out.
The release date for Toy Story 4 has been delayed multiple times, first announced for a June 2017 premiere and then 2018. Let’s hope this small obstacle does not delay it further. For now we can expect Toy Story 4, a romance between Woody and Bo-Peep, to premiere June 21, 2019.