Toy Story 4 Loses Co-Director John Lasseter

Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios chief creative officer John Lasseter announced at Anaheim's D23 Expo that he will no longer be directing the upcoming Toy Story 4. Co-director Josh Cooley will take over as the film's director, with Lasseter serving as a producer on the project.

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Lasseter directed both Toy Story, for which he won a Special Achievement Award at the 68th Academy Awards, and its 1999 sequel Toy Story 2. Although Lee Unkrich directed Toy Story 3, Lasseter did serve as a writer and producer on that film.

Cooley has spent much of his career working as a storyboard artist at Pixar, for which his credits include such animated films as The Incredibles and Cars. He also served as a co-writer on Inside Out and was responsible for directing and writing the animated shorts Riley's First Date and George & A.J.

Last July, Pixar President Jim Morris stated that the company will move away from sequels after the release of Toy Story 4 and Incredibles 2, choosing instead to launch four new properties.

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Toy Story 4 is targeted for release in June 2019.