There’s a rumor that “Toy Story 4” has been officially announced by Disney and Pixar.
It hasn’t. A rep for Walt Disney Pictures tells BuzzFeed that “nothing official” has been announced about Toy Story 4, and that the studio is investigating where the rumor originated in South America.
It appears a Colombian radio exec tweeted the news Monday afternoon, and it was picked up by South American news outlet Terra. From there, several different websites picked up the news, rocketing “Toy Story 4” up as Twitter’s top trending topic for at least a few hours.
This is all just the silliest thing ever. Here’s why:
1. Pixar’s slate is full for several years.
The original South American reports noted that Toy Story 4 was scheduled to hit theaters in 2015. This is highly unlikely, since Pixar has a full slate of films through at least 2015: Monsters University (June 21, 2013); The Good Dinosaur (May 30, 2014); and The Untitled Pixar Movie That Takes You Inside the Mind (June 19, 2015).
Pixar has also announced The Untitled Pixar Movie About Dia de los Muertos from Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich, which doesn’t have a release date yet but would likely come out in 2016.
2. Pixar just doesn’t operate this way.
Unlike most live-action feature film projects, Pixar simply refuses to announce that they’re making a movie until they are certain the story is in strong enough shape to move forward with animating it. When reached by BuzzFeed about Toy Story 4, a rep for Pixar simply stated, “We do not comment on speculation or rumors” — which is what they say for every rumored Pixar project. Last week, the rather more reliable Hollywood news site Deadline reported that Albert Brooks had officially signed on to Finding Nemo 2, and yet Pixar has not only not confirmed that news, they won’t confirm that Finding Nemo 2 is even happening.
3. Pixar’s been burned by this kind of thing before.
The last few times Pixar has announced a project before it was completely ready have ended in real embarrassment for the studio. In 2008, Pixar confirmed it was working on an amphibian-based film called Newt and a female-driven fairy tale called The Bear and the Bow. Two years later, the latter had been pushed six months and retitled Brave, and then director Brenda Chapman was essentially fired from the project after it was determined the story needed significant refurbishing. But at least it made it to movie theaters. Newt was ultimately canceled completely. These aren’t mistakes Pixar is eager to make again.
4. The news came from an unconfirmed tweet, for goodness’ sake.
One of the most pernicious things about the internet is how a single unconfirmed report about something everyone is interested in can spread like wildfire without any further confirmation. Chasing these down is like playing whack-a-mole, and after a while, it becomes so pointlessly exhausting that some sites just shrug and say “well, it could be true.” And, yes, Toy Story 3 grossed over $1 billion worldwide. Disney would be insane not to at least entertain the possibility of making another film, and it’s obvious they have not outright denied they’re working on another Toy Story, either.
But the Pixar brain trust has also been quite clear that when it comes to the franchise that launched their studio, they do not want to mess around: After Disney bought Pixar outright in 2006, the studio canceled a Toy Story threequel that Disney was working on independent of Pixar.