While Toy Story 3 seemed like it was going to be the official end of the beloved Pixar franchise’s run on the big screen, that idea has just been trashed. As it turns out, Pixar is actually now working on a Toy Story 4, and it’s being helmed by none other than Pixar head John Lasseter himself.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger made the announcement during an earnings call this afternoon. The plan is to have the film in theaters on June 16, 2017. The feature will be the first that Lasseter has directed himself since 2011’s Cars 2 - though he did previously helm both the original Toy Story and Toy Story 2. Rashida Jones and Will McCormack, who previously wrote Celeste and Jesse Forever together, are penning Toy Story 4's script.

It's true that 2010's Toy Story 3 was the last time we saw the likes of Woody, Buzz and the rest of the gang up on the big screen, but the reality is that they haven't exactly disappeared from pop culture as a whole. In the years since, the brand has been kept fresh by a series of shorts and television specials telling stories about what's been happening with our favorite toys ever since Andy left them in Bonnie's care. The first short was 2011's Toy Story Toons: Hawaiian Vacation (which was attached to Cars 2 in theaters) and the second, Toy Story Toons: Small Fry, came out with the same year preceding screenings of The Muppets. In 2012, Toy Story Toons: Partysaurus Rex was screened with Finding Nemo 3D. As for the TV specials, so far we've only seen one - Toy Story of Terror!, which came out in October 2013 - but soon the toys will be getting their own Christmas special, appearing in Toy Story That Time Forgot.

These past few weeks have been rather major for the Walt Disney Company. In addition to having Walt Disney Animation's Big Hero 6 in theaters this Friday, it was just two weeks ago that Marvel Studios put on a big show announcing their full slate between now and 2019. Hell, even earlier today we got some major Star Wars news in the form of the title for Star Wars: Episode VII: Star Wars: The Force Awakens. As a Pixar announcement, Toy Story 4 almost seems like a cherry on top.

Surely many will be upset that Pixar is making yet another sequel - as they already have Finding Dory being prepped for a June 2016 release date, but the company, but they have plenty of original work in the pipeline too. Coming out next summer will be Inside Out - a film where the main characters are emotions and most of the story plays out in the mind of a teenage girl - and following that is The Good Dinosaur - a prehistoric tale that is set in a world where a massive comet didn't hit the Earth and kill all of the dinosaurs. That being said, the animation company is also working on The Incredibles 2 and Cars 3, so the scales kind of even out.

Are you excited for Toy Story 4? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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