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Though this makes “Toy Story 4” an official project, it’s not the first time the film has been discussed since “Toy Story 3” raked in more than $1 billion at the global box office. The Wrap reported in 2010 that Tim Allen, who voices Buzz Lightyear, had committed to a fourth movie regardless of whether it actually came to fruition. Tom Hanks also expressed interest in reprising his role as Woody, and one year later he told the BBC that Disney was in the process of “work[ing] on” the movie. But Disney continued to curb the speculation, denying Hanks’ claims and in 2013 refuting more rumors that the movie had entered development. At that time, BuzzFeed even published a piece headlined 4 Reasons Why The “Toy Story 4” Rumor Is Just Silly.
The franchise has earned nearly $2 billion at the worldwide box office since debuting in 1995. Along the way, Pixar has extended its shelf life by airing “Toy Story of Terror” Halloween specials on ABC. The first one, in 2013, beat “Survivor” and “Criminal Minds” in the overnight Nielsen ratings.