July 18, 2012 at 12:03 PM ET
Fans of Pixar animation had a field day Tuesday when stories about sequels to "Finding Nemo," "Toy Story" and "Monsters Inc." all popped up. But are they all true? Some reports have more basis in fact than others.
A representative of Disney told NBC News that Pixar does not comment on development, but that hasn't stopped the speculation.
Let's look at each film individually.
Though Nemo and Marlin's story seemed to wrap up quite tidily when the lost clownfish was reunited with his dad in 2003, you'll soon be seeing more dimensions of the little orange fish onscreen. A 3-D version of "Nemo" hits theaters on Sept. 14.
But what about "Finding Nemo 2"? On Tuesday, Deadline.com reported that director Andrew Stanton, who wrote and directed the first "Nemo" and also co-wrote "Monsters Inc.," and the "Toy Story" films, will direct a sequel. No confirmation from Pixar, but The Hollywood Reporter says that television writer Victoria Strouse will be writing the script while Lindsey Collins is producing, and that the film likely will be released in 2016.
However, Stanton himself created more fuel for the rumor fire late Tuesday when he tweeted, "Didn't you all learn from Chicken Little? Everyone calm down. Don't believe everything you read. Nothing to see here now. #skyisnotfalling."
'Toy Story 4'
Rumors that Woody, Buzz and the gang would reunite drove movie fans into an Internet rumor frenzy. Many were suspicious from the start, since the third film in the trilogy tied things up so neatly, with Andy driving off to college and handing his beloved toys over to young Bonnie to start a whole new life.
It seems that some of the rumors were sparked by a year-old BBC interview with Tom Hanks, voice of "Toy Story's" Woody. Hanks begins by talking about "Larry Crowne," his 2011 film with Julia Roberts, and is then asked about his granddaughter.
"Will there be a 'Toy Story 4' for her to see?" reporter Tim Muffett asks.
"I think there will be, yeah," Hanks says. "I think they're working on it now."
Some people now say that Hanks was referring to "Toy Story" shorts, such as "Toy Story Hawaiian Vacation," which aired before "Cars 2," or "Small Fry," which aired before "The Muppets," but others disagree. The reporter clearly asked about "Toy Story 4," but what that meant to Hanks is open for debate.
It's also possible that the "Toy Story 4" rumors came out of an online Disney book catalog that was spotted by numerous blogs and movie fans. The text in that catalog now reads "Three new Toy Story toons are in development to support franchise publishing in 2012. 'Hawaiian Vacation' released with 'Cars 2' in theaters and on DVD. 'Small Fry' released theatrically with 'The Muppets,' and all will begin airing on the Disney Channel in early 2012."
But according to screengrabs on movie blogs, including The Rotoscopers, that text has been edited. It originally also said, "In addition, two 22-minute TV specials are in the works for October 2013 and Spring 2014."
Whether it was Hanks' 2011 comment or the book catalog that sparked the "Toy Story 4" rumors, fans are having fun suggesting plotlines. If a fourth film is made, some are hoping for a prequel, showing Woody's life with Andy's (late?) father. Others want to see Woody, Jessie, Buzz and the gang having adventures with new owner Bonnie.
The 2001 Pixar film "Monsters Inc." will be getting a prequel in 2013. No rumors here -- a trailer for the film has already been shown before the movie "Brave" in theaters, and features monstrous pals Mike and Sulley meeting up in college. Apparently Monsters U is an "Animal House" type of school, with lampshade-on-head parties and Sulley pasting squares of mirrored glass on Mike to turn him into a disco ball.
It's not getting the attention of "Toy Story," "Nemo" and "Monsters," but director Brad Bird continues to hint at a sequel to his popular animated comedy, "The Incredibles." "I would not say no to ['The Incredibles 2'], because I really love that world and I love those characters," Bird told IFC back in March. "If I can figure out a complete thing -- you know, I have a lot of ideas that I love -- but the whole story, I haven’t got it yet."
Other Pixar films to come reportedly include "The Good Dinosaur," supposedly about a world where dinosaurs never became extinct and scheduled for 2013, and two untitled films -- one about the Mexican Dia de los Muertos holiday and another set inside the human mind.
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