Toy Story 4: Bo Peep with Woody and Buzz Lightyear
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Credit: Pixar Animation Studios

Pixar moving away from sequels in future film strategy

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May 15, 2019

A new era is starting at animation giant Pixar, and it will apparently involve movies without all those numbers after their titles.

Although the next event release from the Disney-owned company is Toy Story 4, an article from The Hollywood Reporter suggests the fourth film in the franchise (which actually launched Pixar back in 1995) will be the last sequel produced by the studio for a while.

Producer Mark Nielsen revealed that Pixar's future slate is "all original films after this one right now," explaining the change in direction from recent years is the mandate of new chief creative officer Pete Docter: "He’s really looking out for the new voices and really loading up the development pool." 

Nielsen added that there is "a lot of optimism about the future of the studio" since Docter took over the position in June, while another producer, Jonas Rivera, noted about the new Pixar, "In some ways it’s unrecognizable. So much has happened. In some ways, it is the same. There’s the same spirit."

Docter was handed the chief creative job from Pixar co-founder John Lasseter last June, after the latter first went on an extended sabbatical and then left the company entirely following allegations of improper behavior. 

Docter himself was one of Pixar's most acclaimed (and Oscar-winning) directors before taking the gig, with two of the company's very best movies, Up and Inside Out (both originals, by the way) under his belt.

Toy Story 4 is out June 21 and will focus on the relationship between Woody and Bo Peep, while also introducing Keanu Reeves as action figure Duke Caboom and Tony Hale as the important new character Forky. Pixar's next release after that is an original titled Onward that's due out on Mar. 6, 2020. Beyond that, Disney has four "untitled Pixar" films set for release between the rest of 2020 and 2022.

If Docter stays on the course he's apparently setting out, the company's most recent run of releases — which included Finding Dory, Cars 3, Incredibles 2 and Toy Story 4 — may be the last of its kind that we see for a while.

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