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James Mangold To Direct Toy Story 5, Exploring Woody’s Final Years

Every cowboy has his sunset.¬† It looks like¬†Toy Story 5 will be Woody’s chance to hang up his boots and enjoy the quiet life.

Fresh off the heels of the rousing success that is Indiana Jones: And The Dial Of Destiny, James Mangold has been hired to direct the latest entry into the Toy Story series.  The director has big plans for Woody.

James Mangold has been hired to close out Woody’s story arc. He promises to remove the toy from the man and show us the iconic character’s tragic side.

“I want to make a movie about the man inside the toy.¬† What happens when Woody finally gets that snake out of his boots and there is very nothing left?” Mangold said recently at the announcement of his hiring.¬† “This movie is going to be a journey into the unknown with a beloved character who makes that journey with his mask off. What the franchise has been missing is doing a deep dive, Woody Allen style, into the psyche of this toy…I mean man…that is a toy. We will be stripping Woody of his bravado and showing the audience his tragic side.”

The movie is set to deal with more mature themes in comparison to the other Toy Story movies.¬† According to Mangold, early drafts have Woody spiraling out of control into an alcoholic state, with the help of hotel mini bottles of liquor.¬† “Alcoholism is a huge problem in our society.” Mangold explained.¬† “The depressed alcoholic angle was popular in Dial of Destiny¬† so I wanted to incorporate that angle into Toy Story. So we are going to have a man who has just lost the love of his life and has nobody to turn to.¬† So what does a large percentage of the population do, when they have nobody to turn to? They find solace in the bottle.¬† It’s going to be a powerful message, especially for the kids.”

Mangold wasn’t done with the mental health angle quite yet.¬† One morbid scene, that Mangold says has a 50/50 shot of making it into the movie, has Woody attempting to hang himself with his own pull string until Buzz reluctantly intervenes and convinces Woody to seek help from a new character- Dr. Barbie. If this plot point makes the final draft, Mangold is in talks with Lorraine Bracco of The Sopranos fame to voice Dr. Barbie.¬† In the therapy scenes, Woody’s voice role would be taken over by Woody Allen.

 

Mangold certainly has grand plans for the film, said to be titled Toy Story: The Last Rodeo.  He recently gave writers a glimpse of what we can expect.

The Premise

According to Mangold, the movie will start on a more tragic note than the previous four installments.¬† “We’ve seen the toys being played with in a jovial fashion time and time again.” stated the acclaimed director.¬† “It is time for a more realistic approach.¬† Woody ended¬†Toy Story 4 as a vagabond with no owner.¬† We are going to dive into that concept and really explore the harsh consequences of such a rash decision.”

The movie is going to open with Woody, Bo-Peep and her sheep running down the alley and narrowly escaping the paws of a feral cat.¬† While relaxing and having a good laugh at the luck they had just experienced, tragedy strikes and Bo’s sheep fall victim to an overzealous¬†Crocodile Dentist¬†game. After this tragic loss, the montage will start with both Woody and Bo spiraling deeper into depression.

Woody and Bo were the First Family of the Toy Story franchise, but tragedy tore them apart.

“It will ultimately end with Bo leaving.¬† The stress of losing these magnificent, beloved creatures combined with Woody’s guilt and subsequent despondence becomes too much for her and she tearfully says goodbye to the only man she ever loved.” Mangold explained.

One reported scene has Woody strolling down the street dejectedly.¬† He arrives at the carnival on that fateful night where he made the decision to leave his friends and Bonnie behind.¬† He looks down at his boot where Andy’s name used to be.¬† Most of it is faded out.¬† Only the A and the Y are visible.

Mangold told us: “The A and the Y will be symbolic and a huge part of this movie.¬† It will tell the audience that this is a man who hasn’t quite arrived to the end of his journey.¬† The viewer will be compelled to ponder with Woody. How does he get to Z? Does Z even exist? Is Woody even deserving to arrive at Z after everything he’s done?¬† Woody knows he can’t get there alone.¬† So he goes on a journey to find the only toy that can help him- The elusive Zorro action figure.”

Old Friends No More

Woody’s next stop will be back to Bonnie’s.¬† Mangold tells us not to expect a hero’s welcome when Woody arrives.¬† “Woody finally sees the consequences of his actions when he arrives back at Bonnie’s.” says Mangold. “Bonnie was sad to lose one of her favorite toys.¬† In her sadness, toys were neglected and either thrown away or donated to the daycare center.¬† The only toys remaining are Buzz, Jessie and Forkie. All of whom want nothing to do with him.”

The once jovial Toy Story group of characters was diminished when Woody left and Bonnie fell into despair.

Mangold would further explain that Jessie and Forkie viewed Woody as their father and felt abandoned when he decided to leave them.¬† Buzz is bitter because without Woody’s help, he couldn’t keep control of the gang and everything fell apart. “It gets really messy.” Mangold elaborated.¬† “Mr. Potato Head ends up divorcing Mrs. Potato Head and running off with Ham.¬† Rex finally snapped after years of bullying and eats half of slinky dog before he is stopped.¬† Bullseye tore his leg in a race and had to be put down.¬† So much tragedy has occurred in the wake of Woody’s absence and it was all preventable.¬† Woody eventually comes to realize that he is the source of his and everyone else’s misery.” The remaining toys eventually make Woody leave before Bonnie sees him and he breaks her heart again.¬† Woody’s days with the old gang are over.

Where The Story Ends Up

The story will have Woody being found by a manager of an Ollie’s Bargain Outlet. The manager keeps Woody on display in his office.¬† Mangold explained the direction he took by saying: “Retail is the ultimate dead end job.¬† Having Woody end up in the office of an Ollie’s Bargain Outlet with all of these other unwanted toys on the other side of the door will give the viewer a realistic view of what it’s like to really hit rock bottom.”

Woody will eventually befriend Rey Skywalker and Rose Tico action figures from the fan favorite movie Star Wars: The Last Jedi.  Together, Rey and Rose will teach Woody that there is still a life worth living all while trying to deal with a She-Hulk action figure that prevents any toy from escaping the store and is keeping the Zorro action figure hidden behind a wall of Rise of Skywalker blu-rays.

Ollie’s Bargain Outlet will be the setting for Woody’s last adventure.

When asked if Woody will ever find love again, Mangold made indications that scenario was complicated.¬† “The original draft calls for Woody to form an intimate relationship with Rey. Unfortunately, we have to consider the backlash that we may receive from the Reylo fans.¬† I ran this past Kathleen Kennedy and she said ‘yeah whatever’ so I have her blessing!”

Toy Story Post Woody

Mangold was emphatic in telling us that this is the curtain call for Woody. The fan favorite will ride into the sunset.¬† No poison will be in the watering hole, Woody is finally free. As for what comes next for the franchise, he had this to say: “Woody is hanging his hat up.¬† So that means that Toy Story as we know it is over.¬† The franchise has been overdue for a reboot.¬† So me and acclaimed director Rian Johnson will be working together to reimagine the franchise for modern audiences.¬† Rian and I are currently working on a trilogy that will kick the new era off with The Rey and Rose Tico action figures.¬† It will be called: A Star Wars Toy Story.”¬†

Rian Johnson will be on hand for the next three Toy Story Films centered around Star Wars toys.

Final Takeaway

While in the past, it has been popular to use TV and cinema to escape from the harsh realities of life, that is simply not the case anymore.¬† Thankfully, this generation of writers and directors don’t let us escape our woes anymore and force us to watch our favorite characters toil and struggle through life the same as everyone else.¬† Moviegoers have enjoyed every minute watching our legacy characters get beaten into the ground and leaving the theater with no semblance of joy or hope.¬† So, thank you Mr. Mangold for bringing yet another realistic take to another beloved franchise. I am even more eager to write about Mangold’s next project after this, which will be the final entry into the¬†Cars series in which Lightning McQueen and ‘Mater are sold off and stripped for parts.¬† James Mangold knows how to keep our happiness in check. God bless him.

Thank you for reading! When I am not writing I enjoy spending time with my wife Barbara, my three year old daughter Frankie, and my loyal hound Marbles.¬† Please don’t forget to subscribe to our NEW YouTube channel here and as always, Stay Geeky Everybody!

 

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