Pixar isn’t done with its iconic Toy Story franchise quite yet. The studio announced a new origin film Lightyear based on the beloved Space Ranger toy and Chris Evans will voice him.
The Disney Investor Day presentation gave us a full load of exciting news from Star Wars, Marvel, Walt Disney Pictures, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar, and more. During the presentation, Pixar announced an exciting lineup of upcoming animated Disney Plus series, shorts, and films set for theatrical release.
Pixar has a lot in store to offer in the coming years, both on the big screen and on Disney+. Among the new projects that were announced, the most exciting one has its roots that trace all the way back to the first Pixar film, Toy Story. Lightyear, a new origin film about the fan-favorite Space Ranger from the Toy Story franchise is in development.
Details on Pixar’s Lightyear
Lightyear will tell the origin story of the original human astronaut Buzz Lightyear and how he went from a young test pilot to the Space Ranger fans know and love. This film has its roots in the creation of the character Buzz Lightyear from the original Toy Story film. Now, if that wasn’t enough to get fans pumped, it was also announced that Chris Evans, best known as Captain America from the MCU, will star as the space hero.
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“Lightyear is the definitive story of the original Buzz Lightyear,” the studio teased. The film is set to premiere in theaters in Summer 2022.
When Pixar says “original Buzz Lightyear,” the studio means the “young test pilot” that inspired the Space Ranger toy we all know him to be today. In the first film, we get to know in a Buzz Lightyear action figure television ad that how popular and in demand, the toy is that which every kid wants to play. So this new story is about the adventure of the character the toy is based on.
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Looks like Star Wars is not the only galaxy we’ll be exploring in the following years. Chris Evans is going from superhero to space ranger as the Marvel star will suit up Buzz Lightyear in Pixar’s Lightyear.
Evans expressed his joy about the film “I don’t even have the words” he wrote on Twitter shortly after the film was announced and he was sure to clarify that he isn’t portraying the toy. “And just to be clear, this isn’t Buzz Lightyear the toy. This is the origin story of the human Buzz Lightyear that the toy is based on” he added.
While this announcement is mostly well-received, it was also met with the usual crowd upset that Tim Allen, who voiced Buzz Lightyear in all the Toy Story movies and shorts, wasn’t returning. Considering how this is the story about the real Buzz Lightyear and not the toy, the casting of Evans makes more sense.
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Since it’s not the character that we are familiar with and the tone and story of Buzz being new, the choice of casting a new actor will help in differentiating Tim Allen’s Buzz from the latest Lightyear Buzz. And the new voice being Chris Evans is really exciting.
Pete Docter, Chief Creative Officer of Pixar, explained that Buzz Lightyear was always envisioned as a toy based on an exciting film within the Toy Story world and now fans will get to see that film. Lightyear will be directed by Angus McLane who is the co-director of Finding Dory and he also previously directed two Toy Story shorts.
In the original Toy Story franchise, Buzz Lightyear is a Space Ranger tasked with defending the galaxy from the Evil Emperor Zurg. Actually, Lightyear is not the first story to showcase Buzz’s space adventure. Back in 2000 a series was made called Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, but I expect the new film to be a brand new story.
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What we don’t know for sure is how much of the Buzz Lightyear toy’s backstory is fiction and how much of it is based on the truth within the Toy Story world. Did this young test pilot literally face off against an evil alien emperor? We’ll find out in the movie.
Pixar has a reputation for delivering amazing content all the time, so I trust this new feature set in the beloved Toy Story universe will be a great addition to the critically acclaimed blockbuster franchise.
Pixar’s Lightyear will navigate through space into the theaters on June 17, 2022.
You can watch the full Disney Investors Day presentation here. Are you interested in Buzz Lightyear’s origin story? Are you excited about Lightyear? Are you excited for Chris Evans playing Buzz? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or on our social media and be sure to come back to The Illuminerdi for more movie news.
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