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It's been more than three years since Pixar officially announced that Toy Story 4 was on the way, but since then the film has seemingly hit one roadblock after another. Things may finally be on the right track, after a big change behind the scenes. Toy Story 4 has a brand new screenwriter, in the form of Black List writer Stephany Folsom.
You'd be forgiven for not knowing Stephany Folsom's name. Her most noteworthy writing credit to date is actually for a film that has never been made. 1969: A Space Odyssey Or: How Kubrick Learned to Stop Worrying and Land on the Moon is the story of an alternate history in which Stanley Kubrick actually does help NASA fake the moon landing, a theory popular with some conspiracy theorists. The script was good enough to put her on the Black List. However, she has been involved in other projects as well. According to Deadline, she actually helped write the script to Thor: Ragnarok, though the Writer's Guild of America denied her a writing credit.
Whatever her previous work, she's certainly working on a high profile project now. Stephany Folsom is taking over the writing duties from Rashida Jones and Will McCormack, who had previously been working on the screenplay. The pair's departure had been linked to the behavior that led to John Lasseter taking a leave of absence from Pixar, though Jones has since stated that, while the pair did leave due to issues with Pixar's internal culture, it was not due to Lasseter specifically.
It's unclear whether Stephany Folsom is working on a new draft of something that Rashida Jones and Will McCormack had been working on or if she's starting from scratch. The former seems the most likely, as Toy Story 4 has a release date of June 2019 and if things were starting over, it would seem to be just short of impossible that the movie could possibly be ready in a year and a half.
Even so, the fact that the screenplay isn't finished means there will likely be a need to bring the voice actors back to record additional dialogue, which in turn means animation that will need to start from scratch. There is clearly still a lot of work to do on Toy Story 4.
Originally, Toy Story 4 was set for release this June, but delays in production led to Pixar making the decision to swap its release date with Incredibles 2, meaning we'll get the superhero family story this year, with the fourth Toy Story movie next year. Word is that the new entry will be a romance of sorts, with Woody attempting to reunite with Bo-Beep, a character who was mysteriously absent from the events of Toy Story 3.