At long last, we finally get a movie that takes us through the backstory of our favorite Pixar space ranger in Lightyear. Since 1995, we’ve known Buzz Lightyear through the voice of Tim Allen. Pixar’s Toy Story franchise is by far one of its most popular, with all four movies sitting above 92% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Expected to release sometime in 2022, the Knives Out and Marvel’s Captain America actor Chris Evans will take the helm and voice the famous space ranger.
There was talk about the role of Buzz Lightyear being recast, with the original plans being that Tim Allen reprise his iconic role. Fans theorized this due to Allen’s recent politics and controversies — listing his notable sympathy for Donald Trump, cancellation of his conservative Fox show Last Man Standing, and 2013 mishap over racial slurs.
Other fans backed and supported this theory with the reminder of how Disney and LucasFilm fired The Mandalorian actress Gina Carano in 2021 due to her controversial posts on social media, which she took as being terminated from the show based on her politically conservative views. Controversy is not foreign or untouched for Allen and Disney typically attempts to distance itself from controversy, but this isn’t the reason why the original Toy Story voice actor isn’t returning.
Why Chris Evans?
Lightyear director Angus MacLane quickly shut down all speculations about recasting by saying that Chris Evans was his one and only choice for the role. MacLane explained that his casting choice for voicing Buzz was based on whether or not he believed the actor could actually portray him in a live-action movie and felt Chris Evans has the star power and expertise to bring Buzz to life in either setting.
One of the main reasons the role was given to Evans was because the voice behind the Buzz Lightyear toy was never supposed to be the same as the person who inspired the toy. The idea was to continue expanding the Toy Story universe and focus on creating a character that Andy (the boy from the Toy Story films) would have seen on TV or in movies.
Pixar’s Lightyear is set to follow the journey of the fictional film character that inspired Tim Allen’s Buzz Lightyear toy, so again, they’re technically not even the same character. In this manner, it’s really not necessary to bring Allen back to voice a different Buzz, so it makes sense that Pixar recruited an actor who connects more to the current audience.
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Photos via Walt Disney Pictures/Pixar Animation Studios