Fans of the Toy Story franchise already know that Buzz Lightyear has traveled to infinity and beyond, but now they’ll finally get to see some of the adventures that brought the Space Ranger to the Pixar universe.
Disney has released the first trailer for Lightyear, a full-length, animated feature that promises to tell the “real story” behind the hero who inspired the Buzz Lightyear toy line from the Toy Story films. Marvel Cinematic Universe actor Chris Evans will voice Buzz in the film, which appears to chronicle the character’s expedition into outer space in search of, well … we don’t quite know yet.
But there will be action, and humor, and even a few aliens, according to the first look at the film.
Described as “the definitive origin story of the hero who inspired the toy,” the film is likely to cause some confusion in the short term, given that the film is basically the real-world version of a movie that previously only existed within the Toy Story universe. That (previously fictional) film inspired the Buzz Lightyear toy line in the Toy Story films, and the toy version of Buzz Lightyear was voiced by Tim Allen in those films. Lightyear, however, will have Evans voice the “real” Buzz Lightyear.
Got all that?
Fortunately, the world has until June 17, 2022 — when Lightyear arrives in theaters — to make sense of it all.
Evans shared some thoughts on voicing the character, and the role animated features have played in his own life, in a post on Twitter that accompanied the trailer’s debut.
Animated movie were an enormous part of my childhood. They were my escape. My adventures. My dreams.
They were my first window into the magic of storytelling and performing.
— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) October 27, 2021
Along with nabbing Evans for the film’s lead role, Disney and Pixar announced that Lightyear will be directed by award-winning filmmaker Angus MacLane, who co-directed 2016’s Finding Dory.
The June 2022 release date for Lightyear brings the Toy Story franchise — or in this case, a spin-off from it — back to theaters almost exactly three years after the last installment premiered. Toy Story 4 was a critical and commercial hit when it premiered in June 2019, and was reported by star Tom Hanks and others that it would likely be the final film in the original film franchise. Pixar and Disney have left the door open for more Toy Story films, however. Disney first announced plans for Lightyear during an investor event in 2020.
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