Toy Story 4 hit a creative speed bump last year when Rashida Jones and Will McCormack, who were tapped to write the script, split from the project due to creative differences.
Of course, if Pixar wants to meet the scheduled release, they are going to have to find someone to write a new script for director Josh Cooley. And it appears that they have. New reports say Black List screenwriter Stephany Folsom has been hired to work on the script. Check out the full report below.
Deadline says Folsom will now write in place of Jones and McCormack. The two were to give a romantic angle to the film that helped launch Pixar to become one of the premiere animation studios. Folsom may not be a household name as of yet, but depending on the success of Toy Story 4, it may help her become one. Though she may not have a lot of credits to her name, she is best known for writing the unproduced screenplay 1969: A Space Odyssey Or: How Kubrick Learned To Stop Worrying and Land on the Moon.
Folsom’s hiring comes in the wake of Jones and McCormack’s departure. There are somewhat conflicting details as to why the duo left, but reports say that it was because disgraced Pixar head John Lasseter made some unwanted advanced towards her. Jones denies any of that happened, but Lasseter has a reported history of heavy drinking and taking one too many sexually advanced “missteps.” These “missteps” forced Lasseter to take a six-month leave of absence. Jones said she left the project “over creative and philosophical differences.” She added that there weren’t enough “equal creative voices” involved at Pixar. Hiring Folsom as a writer could solve some of those issues and steer the animation studio in the right direction.
Now the question is if Folsom will use any of Jones and McCormack’s work or if she will start from scratch. I find it hard to believe Pixar will go with the latter if they want to make the release date. If they wanted to release it on June 21, 2019, as it is scheduled now, then Folsom would have to use some of the material that has been written. If any. We don’t exactly know how far along Jones and McCormack were into the script.
Then there’s the animating. Most of these films take up to four years to produce and complete. There’s the research, drafting, numerous screenings, rewrites, and of course, animation. This is not an overnight process. Nor is it a live-action film.
Disney and Pixar still seem content that Toy Story 4 will happen. So much so that they aren’t changing the release dates despite the film’s numerous production problems. So we’ll just have to wait and see if it can make the June 20, 2019, release.