Like most people, I'd assumed that Pixar's Toy Story series was done and dusted with the heart-wrenching third film tying up, what was at the time, a neat little trilogy.
But, surprise! Last year we received the announcement that Toy Story will rise again to bring us it's fourth instalment: Toy Story 4. It's been five years since Woody, Buzz, Jessie and the rest graced our cinema screens, and news of their return has been tentatively hopeful.
With the film not scheduled for release until June 2017 not many details are available yet, but here's what we've learned in the time since the initial announcement was made.
John Lasseter is directing
John Lasseter, Pixar's chief creative officer and director of the first two Toy Story films is returning, and he seems super excited about it.
"We love these characters so much; they are like family to us. We don’t want to do anything with them unless it lives up to or surpasses what’s gone before. Toy Story 3 ended Woody and Buzz’s story with Andy so perfectly that for a long time, we never even talked about doing another Toy Story movie. But when Andrew, Pete, Lee and I came up with this new idea, I just could not stop thinking about it. It was so exciting to me, I knew we had to make this movie—and I wanted to direct it myself." - John Lasseter
Hopefully Lasseter's dedication to and love of the series will shine through, and should go some way towards alleviating the doubts that some fans may have about another iteration in the classic series. His co-director will be Josh Cooley, who was head of story on Pixar's wonderful Inside Out, so we're expecting good things!
Lasseter will also be writing the story, with the screenplay being penned by...
Rashida Jones and Will McCormack
Rashida Jones is perhaps better known for her acting career, particularly her stint as Ann Perkins on Parks and Recreation, but she's a seasoned writer too with a comic book series and two feature-length screenplays under her belt.
Her writing partner, Will McCormack, is also a television and stage actor with credits in The Office, The Sopranos, Syriana, CSI and others. This will be the third screenplay he and Jones have written together and we're interested to see what they come up with for the Toy Story gang.
A love story?
Woody and Buzz go on an adventure to find the one toy who was given away... Bo Peep. - IMDB
Earlier this month Lasseter confirmed that the premise of Toy Story 4 will be the search for Bo Peep and the ongoing romance between her and Woody.
During Toy Story 3 Woody reveals that the porcelain shepherdess and her herd were sold alongside other toys, but we never got to find out what happened to her. Fans will have noted her absence in the previous film and this instalment intends to explain what happened to her in that time.
This will be the first time that Bo Peep has been a major character in the Toy Story franchise, and it'll certainly be interesting to see how the writers develop her throughout the screenplay, though I suspect that how they handle the 'romance' aspect will be the key to whether or not we're going to see another critical success for the Pixar team.