Screenwriter Stephany Folsom is finally getting the writing credit that she deserves. After battling with the Writers Guild of America to give her a "story by" credit on Thor: Ragnarok—Marvel authorized it and the guild denied it—Folsom is teaming up with Disney again, this time via Pixar, to write the screenplay for Toy Story 4.
Well, if you’ve been wondering what I’ve been up to lately... https://t.co/THD8KSj0yl— Stephany Folsom (@StephanyFolsom) January 19, 2018
Deadline writes that Folsom's script 1969: A Space Odyssey or: How Kubrick Learned to Stop Worrying and Land on the Moon appeared on the Black List, an annual compilation of Hollywood's favorite unproduced scripts. It's "an alternate-history story of a publicist who convinces filmmaker Stanley Kubrick to work with NASA in order to fake the moon landing."
It's been 23 years since Toy Story premiered in theaters, but this is the first time a woman will be solely managing the screenplay duties. Out of 20 screenwriting/story by credits spread across the three films, only one woman has ever been hired to write before Folsom. For Toy Story 2, Disney brought in Mulan co-writer Rita Hsiao along with three male writers. The series' four directorial credits are men; TS4 will mark a fifth, the debut film for Josh Cooley.
Rashida Jones and her writing partner, Will McCormack, were attached to write Toy Story 4 at first but pulled out shortly after sexual misconduct allegations against Pixar's CCO John Lasseter surfaced. There were rumors that the two left after Lasseter made unwanted advances at Jones but the actress said there were other reasons for the decision to part ways
"We did not leave Pixar because of unwanted advances. We parted ways because of creative and, more importantly, philosophical differences," said Jones issued a statement to The New York Times. Jones and McCormack later added that Pixar has "a culture where women and people of color do not have an equal creative voice.
It seems Disney is working toward inclusion in their creative teams, and creating safe spaces for women in the workplace, as Lasseter—not merely Pixar's CCO but the man in charge of the first two Toy Story films, the iconic building blocks of the studio—is on a leave of absence and Folsom is writing Toy Story 4.