Our trusted and proven sources tell us that after Chris Evans' Lightyear, we will be getting a Sheriff Woody solo movie.
The Toy Story franchise has been one of Pixar’s crown jewels since the release of the first movie in 1995. The assembled living toys have essentially grown up with a generation of moviegoers, becoming beloved parts of pop culture. Since Disney now owns Pixar, it goes without saying that the company is going to take those characters and wring every penny they can out of them. As such, according to our trusted and proven sources, Pixar is developing a solo Sheriff Woody movie in the style of this year’s upcoming Lightyear.
In a sense, it makes sense for Pixar to be developing new takes on established Toy Story characters like Sheriff Woody and Buzz Lightyear for solo movies. Disney can only continue the Toy Story franchise proper for so long before audiences start to rebel against the continuation of the narrative after each movie seems to emotionally conclude the journey. Toy Story 4 was already a step too far for some, but transferring over a very recognizable character like Sheriff Woody to a new movie universe allows some suspension of disbelief.
It also helps that a Sheriff Woody movie will have the precedent of Lightyear, the new movie that positions Buzz Lightyear as a real-life astronaut on a space mission, as opposed to a toy that thinks that is what he is. There have been various explanations from Pixar about what exactly this version of Buzz Lightyear is supposed to be, with the most consistent explanation being that Lightyear is a movie within the Toy Story universe and the original Buzz Lightyear is a toy based on that move.
By that same logic, pretty much all the toys in the Toy Story franchise could be based on movies and spun into solo projects (including real-life toys like Mr. Potato Head). From what we are told, the Sheriff Woody solo movie is being developed in the style of a Spaghetti Western, the gritty subgenre made famous in the 1960s by Sergio Leone and Clint Eastwood. That does raise the question if we will see Sheriff Woody mercilessly gunning down bad guys in his movie or leaving a former partner for dead in the desert, which would be an… interesting way to go.
There is also the question of franchise canon, as Toy Story 2 made it clear that the Sheriff Woody toy is based on a 1950s children’s show titled Woody’s Roundup. A determined writer’s room should be able to work around that fairly easily by either explaining that this Sheriff Woody movie was in-universe inspired by the children’s show, or by saying, here’s a Sheriff Woody movie, take it or leave it.
The developing Sheriff Woody movie will likely see its fortunes determined by the success of Lightyear. Fortunately, the Chris Evans-starring film (taking over for Tim Allen, which also raises questions about Tom Hanks’ potential replacement) is already getting excellent reviews and seems poised to be a hit. So we will just have to see if the box office grosses of Buzz Lightyear’s solo outing justify working in a “there’s a snake in my boot” reference into another movie or if we will just be getting Toy Story 5 at some point.