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A Toy Story 4 Spin-Off Could Happen, Teases Tim Allen

Toy Story 4 may be an improbably vital addendum to a practically perfect trilogy, but if star Tim Allen gets his way, it won't be the end.

Allen recently teased in an interview that while the fourth installment serves as a nice little capper to the series, he has a feeling that there's more to explore — especially in regards to some of the franchise's supporting players. (via Us Weekly)

Allen made his remarks while discussing the legacy of the Toy Story films, the flagship series for animation house Pixar, which has basically been able to do no wrong for roughly a quarter-century. Although many fans and critics felt that a fourth entry was unnecessary after 2010's masterful Toy Story 3 put a bow on the series, the film has proven them decisively wrong. Critics have found it to be every bit as vital, funny, heartwarming, and beautifully animated as the best of Pixar's work — and while there's certainly something to be said for going out on a high note, Allen revealed that he has every hope that his days as Space Ranger Buzz Lightyear aren't over.

Asked point-blank if Toy Story 4 is the final film in the series, Allen seemed to imply that he indeed had an idea whether or not this was the case. "I can't give that away," he said. "There's very little to suggest that this isn't, at the very least, [part of] a much bigger world."

The star went on to draw a comparison to another highly successful, Disney-owned property, a comparison which just might raise a few eyebrows. "It reminds me of the Avengers movies — there are not only offshoots of characters that have simultaneous stories, but the world itself got much bigger," he said.

Nevertheless, the star seemed to hedge his bets with his final remarks about the possibility of more Toy Story in the future, saying, "My sense is it's done. My creative side says, at the same time things end, there's a new beginning. I would find it difficult not to just continue."

That last sentence seems to imply that Allen simply wishes that Toy Story could go on forever, which is understandable. It would be tough for any actor to walk away from a series and a role which have become so indelibly ingrained in popular culture; Allen even compared Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz to another pair of Disney icons, which will probably raise even more eyebrows than his Avengers remark.

"They've kind of become [the] Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck of a certain generation," he said. "I really take a large leap by saying that we're that iconic, but it does feel that way. They're immortal; they're toys — they don't have a life span."

The actor also took time to touch upon his warm relationship with Hanks, who — if indeed the series has reached it end — will apparently have just as tough a time saying goodbye as Allen. "There's a very short scene that both Hanks and I had trouble with, because I thought there was more pages. It ends, and I got choked up," he explained. "I literally had a hard time saying it. He did too. We both had the same reaction. Twenty-five or so years of friendship between Woody and Buzz has morphed into a very close [friendship between] Hanks and I. It's just peculiar, as life imitates art."

It's really very sweet to know that Woody and Buzz are good buddies in real life, and — given Toy Story 4's warm reception — it's tough to imagine that there are any fans who wouldn't want to see them back together again onscreen. Interestingly, Hanks seemed to echo his friend's comments about a possible continuation of the series while attending the Toy Story 4 premiere in London, seeming to leave the door open for another round.

"With the fourth one, we don't know if it's the last, we don't know if it's the beginning of a new generation of it all, but I have always been knocked out by the words on the paper and the investment everyone takes on," he said. "These movies take the better part of five or six years... and they can't just be good or facile, they have to be worthwhile. Every movie hopes to be worthwhile, but it doesn't always happen."  (via Hello!)

Well, we all know that in general, Pixar's decisions are ruled more by creative considerations than financial ones. But if the studio's creative minds can come up with more interesting storytelling avenues featuring Toy Story's beloved characters, they certainly won't need to worry about whether the moviegoing public will be receptive. Toy Story 4 posted the best opening weekend of any film in the franchise with a $118 million dollar takeand it's a sure bet that the flick will add to that total in a big way over the Fourth of July weekend. 

We're going to go out on a limb and predict that, one way or another, we haven't seen the last of these characters. Perhaps we'll get some spin-off films, or a few cameos in other Pixar films, or hey, maybe even Toy Story 5. You can't blame us for hoping, because this is one franchise we wish with all hearts could go on, to infinity... and beyond.