Toy Story 5 Director Possibly Revealed

Andrew Stanton, who has worked on Toy Story from the start, is finally getting into the director's chair for the franchise's fifth installment.

Finding Nemo and Wall-E director Andrew Stanton is reportedly circling the director's chair for Pixar's upcoming Toy Story 5, which is set for a 2026 release. The news comes from Pixar executive Pete Docter, who reportedly mentioned Stanton's involvement in an off-handed manner during a Q&A following a screening of Inside Out 2. As far as we can tell, nobody recorded the comment, but YouTubers The Montyverse were in attendance, and tweeted the news along with a photo from the New York screening they attended. The comments reportedly came up at the end of the Q&A, after a brief conversation about upcoming projects, including Elio, which was originally scheduled for a 2024 release before being pushed to accommodate Moana 2.

There is no word on what Toy Story 5 will have in store, in terms of story. At the end of the fourth installment, Woody gave up on his kid and decided to ride off into the sunset with Bo Peep and her sheep (although only metaphorically, since he left Bulleye behind with Jesse and Buzz).

Stanton has never directed a Toy Story movie yet, but is a credited writer on all four Toy Story feature films as well as a made-for-kids Toy Story video game and Disney+'s Toy Story 3 in Real Life episode. He also contributed unspecified additional screenplay material for Lightyear, although it isn't clear whether he actually worked on that movie or just provided them with advice based on the Toy Story version of the character.

Besides his work on the Toy Story franchise, Stanton has been one of the most consistent contributors to Pixar. He worked on movies, games, and spinoffs based on Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, and Wall-E. In between animated projects, he directed the cult-favorite John Carter movie in 2012 as well as episodes of Better Call Saul, Legion, For All Mankind, and 3 Body Problem.

Earlier this year, Disney CEO Robert Iger indicated that they were planning on doubling down on IP and sequels, announcing Moana 2, Toy Story 5, and sequels to Frozen and Zootopia were in various stages of development at the studio. Shortly after, Tim Allen promised that he and Tom Hanks would return -- even if it isn't immediately obvious what will bring Woody back to the playroom.

"Toy Story 5 had been kind of laid down quite a while ago, but we just couldn't get into it. Then Disney announced it about two months ago," Allen shared in a fairly recent interview. "So I've made friends with all of the people in Toy Story, especially Tom Hanks. So for that, I'm blessed to have these friends in my life. I love that character. I love that story. So I always wait to see the script."

Toy Story 5 will arrive in theaters on June 19, 2026