Just months before Inside Out 2 (2024) is slated for a theatrical release, Pixar Animation Studios is beginning work on yet another sequel, despite the fact that the studio promised fans that Toy Story 4 (2019) would be its last sequel for a while.
Pixar’s Broken Promise
Pixar’s most lucrative film to date, Incredibles 2, was released in June 2018, and in June 2019, when the studio released the fourth Toy Story film, Pixar said it would call it quits on the sequels for a while (remember when Pixar didn’t make sequels because the creativity was overflowing at the studio?).
But in 2022, another sequel, or prequel, as it were, was released as Lightyear–though not a sequel–serves as a piece of the Toy Story puzzle, aiming to tell the story of the space ranger who inspired the creation of the Buzz Lightyear action figure.
Lightyear, however, did not have the same success as Incredibles 2. In fact, the film was a complete flop, forever counted among the Disney-owned films of 2022 that only added to the company’s increasing losses at the box office.
Sequels Seem to Be the Way of Pixar Now
Inside Out 2 is scheduled for a theatrical release on June 14, 2024, and in February 2023, before the film had wrapped production, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that a fifth installment of the Toy Story franchise is in the works as Disney looks to its most popular animated franchises–Frozen, Zootopia, and Toy Story—to right the ship at the box office for the company.
Another Sequel is in the Garage at Pixar
This week, news of a fourth Cars film in the works at Pixar has begun making the rounds.
The news comes from Jay Ward, the Creative Director of Franchise at Pixar Animation Studios, who was recently interviewed during the 2023 Porsche Rennsport Reunion Event for The Late Brake Show. During the interview, the host of the show, Jonny Smith, asked Ward about further Cars franchise projects, and Ward, who doubles as a car enthusiast, admitted that the creative brains at Pixar are currently working on another project, but it will be a while before fans get to see what Lightning McQueen is up to next.
“There are more ‘Cars’ things brewing,” Ward explained during the interview. “I can’t say much more yet. ‘Cars’ has got a life that will keep going, [and] I am working on some real fun projects right now that you will see in a couple of years. It takes us a while to make them.”
There’s no word yet on a release date for the new Cars project, and it’s not entirely clear whether it will be referred to as Cars 4 or have a different title altogether.