Ever since it was announced that Tim Allen would not be voicing Buzz Lightyear in the new film from Disney and Pixar, Lightyear, controversy has refused to go away. Chris Evans — who was chosen to voice the titular Space Ranger — defended the casting decision, saying that the decision to not use Tim Allen made sense since the film was not about the toy Buzz Lightyear, but the actual man. The film’s director, Angus MacLane also spoke to the press and said that an intentional decision was made to not use Tim Allen.
Even though the decision to not use Allen was made clear, speculation still remained, with some believing that it was because of Allen’s more conservative political views. However, it should be noted that Allen is currently working on the new Disney+ series The Santa Clauses— a series that follows Scott Calvin after the events of The Santa Clause trilogy.
One person who has not spoken much about the casting choice was Tom Hanks — who starred alongside Allen in all four of the Toy Story films. Hanks voiced Sheriff Woody, the nemesis and eventual best friend of Buzz Lightyear. Allen recently sat down with CinemaBlend to talk about his new movie, Elvis, and he was asked about how he felt about Allen not voicing the character that he made famous.
In the interview, Hanks said:
“How about that? I actually wanted to go head-to-head with Tim Allen and then they didn’t let Tim Allen do it. I don’t understand that… Here’s the thing, just as long as people come back to the motion picture theater. I want to go back in the theatre with a bunch of strangers and leave with something in common. That’s what I want to do and, going to see a movie with him [Tim Allen] – I’m looking forward to that.”
Tom Hanks is not the only Toy Story alum who was asked about the decision to cast Chris Evans as Buzz Lightyear. Tim Allen himself was asked about the choice in an interview with Extra. Allen said that he has remained quiet on the subject because the film tells a whole new story that really has nothing to do with him or his story in the original Toy Story franchise.
Lightyear opened to a weak box office and didn’t do as well as Disney was hoping. Not only did the film struggle with its casting choices, but there was also controversy surrounding a gay couple that was featured in the film. That couple also caused the film to be banned in many countries, including Saudi Arabia. However, there is still a chance that Lightyear could take off when it hits Disney streaming, although we do not know when that will happen.