In less than two weeks, Pixar fans around the world will be able to learn the story behind the iconic Space Ranger, Buzz Lightyear, in the newest film from Disney and Pixar, Lightyear. Lightyear will star Chris Evans as the titular astronaut, who is determined to help his team escape from an alien planet that they have been stuck on for a year. Lightyear will also star Keke Palmer as Izzy, Dale Soules as Darby Steel, and Taika Waititi as Mo Morrison. Evans recently sat down with People — which was given a first look at an exclusive featurette.
Evans — a lifelong and self-proclaimed Disney/Pixar fan — told People that playing the Space Ranger was a dream come true. Evans said:
“The movie Toy Story was such an impactful film. It’s so iconic and the characters had such variety. They just offer something that’s so relatable…This film is the origin story of Buzz Lightyear. It’s the story that made Andy and his friends want to go buy a Buzz Lightyear toy,” he adds. “I’m a massive Pixar fan. I was a kid in a candy store. It’s unlike any Pixar movie to date.”
Evans was cast as Buzz Lightyear back in December 2020 and took to Instagram to tell fans what it meant to him to be able to voice a character that people have loved for decades.
Working with Pixar is a dream come true. I’ve been a massive fan of their films since the very beginning. My team could barely contain their excitement when they told me that Pixar had a pitch for me. All they said was ‘Buzz Lightyear’. I didn’t know what that meant, since Tim Allen is Buzz Lightyear, and no one could ever touch his performance. I needed to know how this character was different and why this story was worth telling. I can say 2 things with absolute confidence:
1.. I didn’t stop smiling through the ENTIRE pitch. Ear to ear.
2. Everyone can rest easy. And get very excited.
Trust me when I say that they REALLY know what they’re doing over there. This one is gonna special, and it doesn’t step on a single thing. I can’t even put my excitement into words. I smile every time I think about it.
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Here is more information on the new movie from Disney and Pixar:
A sci-fi action-adventure and the definitive origin story of Buzz Lightyear (voice of Chris Evans), the hero who inspired the toy, “Lightyear” follows the legendary Space Ranger on an intergalactic adventure alongside a group of ambitious recruits (voices of Keke Palmer, Dale Soules and Taika Waititi), and his robot companion Sox (voice of Peter Sohn). Also joining the cast are Uzo Aduba, James Brolin, Mary McDonald-Lewis, Efren Ramirez and Isiah Whitlock Jr. Directed by Angus MacLane (co-director “Finding Dory”) and produced by Galyn Susman (“Toy Story That Time Forgot”).
Lightyear is set to hit theaters on July 17 and is the first Pixar movie to be shown in theaters since the pandemic. Onward was the last Pixar film in theaters, but was only there for a couple of weeks because the COVID-19 breakout forced theaters to shut down. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Soul, Luca, and Turning Red were all released straight to Disney+.