Tim Allen is ready to go to infinity and beyond again — the question is, are Disney, Pixar and the rest of the gang?
Allen, the voice of Buzz Lightyear, is under contract to reprise his role as the heroic spaceman in Disney/Pixar's "Toy Story 4," TheWrap has learned from individuals familiar with the "Home Improvement" actor's contract.
Allen's commitment to a fourth film doesn't necessarily mean that Pixar has plans to put another feature-length sequel into production. And it's certainly possible that Allen and others signed on for multiple films some time ago.
But the existence of Allen's contract does indicate that Disney and Pixar brass are thinking about the possibility of extending the franchise.
How could they not, given that "Toy Story 3" has grossed $345.5 million to date in the U.S. and more than $560 million worldwide?
A Disney spokesperson told TheWrap: “We are thrilled with the audiences response to Toy Story 3, and fans will be seeing more of the Toy Story characters in a short film next year. At this time, we have nothing to announce regarding another full-length feature.”
"Toy Story 3" director Lee Unkrich recently discussed the possibility of "Toy Story 4" with MSN Movies, saying: "I really tried my best to end the story of Andy and his toys and bring that story to a close in a really nice way at the end of ['Toy Story 3'].
"That being said, we know that people love the characters, love Woody and Buzz, and would hate to say good-bye to them completely. … We don't have any plans for (a fourth movie) — but we are trying to find ways to keep the characters alive."
Tom Hanks, when asked about a "Toy Story 4" during the Los Angeles Premiere of "3," said: "Bring it on."
Disney and Pixar have already announced that the "Toy Story" characters will appear in a short film in front of "Cars 2," which opens June 24, 2011. But the people familiar with Allen's contract say it makes clear that he's signed on for a fourth feature-length "Toy Story" film.
Hanks said this week that he and Allen helped pressure Disney into making "Toy Story 2" a feature-length film — it was originally meant for straight-to-DVD. “Tim and I and everybody else connected with it wanted to know why," Hanks told the Daily Mirror. "We said it should be released as a film because it was magnificent and as good as the first one."
Calls to Hanks' agent and publicist were not immediately returned Wednesday.
Allen recently starred in and directed the crime comedy "Crazy on the Outside." He is represented by William Morris Endeavor.