When Pete Docter, Chief Creative Officer at Pixar and genius behind Soul, made a Toy Story-related announcement to the audience at the 2020 Investor Day, it’s quite possible that most didn’t hear what he had to say, thanks to the simultaneously dropped news of new Star Wars and Marvel happenings.
But they should have at least heard two things: that the film gives the backstory of the beloved “infinity and beyond” test pilot-turned-space ranger AND that Chris Evans will be the voice of Buzz Lightyear in the film, not Tim Allen. And it will be Evans’s first ever Pixar project.
Because Lightyear is to be the “epic film” upon which the Buzz Lightyear toy line is based, Evans will be Buzz’s “real” voice–the actual voice of the test pilot. Tim Allen’s voice was used for the toy (although very much alive) version of Buzz Lightyear.
Lightyear was announced and will be released in summer 2022, but before you go thinking it’s Pixar’s answer to Toy Story 5, Docter says it is not.
Oh, thank goodness.
Some think Lightyear will be a 5th installment in the Toy Story franchise. Ok, so it’s the 5th film made as part of the legacy of Woody and Buzz and friends. But it’s no Toy Story 5. And it doesn’t sound too much like a full Toy Story prequel, either.
Docter explains that when Buzz Lightyear was initially created for Toy Story, that he was based on a character from an “epic, blockbuster film.” Docter says Pixar decided it was time to finally make that epic film, and it will be in the form of the upcoming Lightyear.
The film is being directed by Angus MacLane, who co-directed Finding Dory.
At this time, the film is set for an exclusively theatrical debut on June 17, 2022. There’s no word yet on when fans will be able to catch the new flick on the Disney+ streaming platform.