This weekend during the D23 Expo, John Lasseter announced he was stepping down from his self-appointed directorial duties on Toy Story 4. It would have marked his first return to the characters that made him famous since 1999 — so what made him change his mind?
Lasseter says he simply overestimated how much of one’s day has to be devoted to directing a movie. He’s also overseeing all animated feature content being produced at both Pixar and Disney Animation. “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.” Josh Cooley, previously announced as co-director of the film alongside Lasseter, will now be going solo.
“Josh Cooley was amazing; wait until you see it – he is so good,” Lasseter promised. “And it was time to let go of the bike and let him ride, and he’s doing a great job. It’s really fantastic. And I do get creative satisfaction from being the executive producer, the chief creative officer, and helping all of these great filmmakers. So that’s what made the decision for me, and I’m loving what I do. I have the best job in the world.”
Toy Story 4, which will be about Woody’s search for his lost love Bo Peep, is scheduled to be released June 21, 2019.