Today, Disney announced (along with a thousand other things) that a Buzz Lightyear origin story is in the works — except instead of focusing on Buzz Lightyear the toy, the movie would explore the human Buzz is based on. So, the real Buzz Lightyear. We learned back in the first movie that Buzz Lightyear was a Space Ranger who works for the elite Universe Protection Unit, which protects the galaxy from evil Emperor Zurg.
The movie is titled Lightyear, and it'll premiere in theaters June 17, 2022.
"Here's the first look of the young test pilot that became the Space Ranger we all know him to be today: Lightyear launches into theaters June 17, 2022," the Pixar Twitter account tweeted.
It hasn't been confirmed whether or not Disney plans on following that backstory or not, but we do have some news: Chris Evans will be voicing Buzz Lightyear, not Tim Allen, who's been voicing toy Buzz Lightyear since 1995, and last portrayed the brave action toy in Toy Story 4 in 2019.
As much as we love us some Chris Evans, we do have questions.
Why did Disney replace Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear?
It's a weird move coming from Disney, considering how iconic and beloved Tim Allen's Buzz Lightyear is. Wouldn't they want the same person behind the character? Apparently not. "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," Chris explained on Twitter. Tim Allen made no mention of stepping away from the Toy Story franchise. In fact, he said he really couldn't imagine the franchise not living on.
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— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) December 11, 2020
When asked by Us Weekly if there will be more Toy Story, Tim replied, "I can’t give that away. There’s very little to suggest that this isn’t, at the very least, [part of] a much bigger world. It reminds me of the Avengers movies — there are not only offshoots of characters that have simultaneous stories, but the world itself got much bigger. … My sense is it’s done. My creative side says, at the same time things end, there’s a new beginning. I would find it difficult not to just continue." Avengers? Did Tim know something we didn't at the time?
Maybe Disney felt like the new Buzz needed to completely divorce himself from any association with Tim Allen. After all, the movie is coming out in 2022, 27 years after the first one did. We have a whole new generation who gets to fall in love with Buzz, and maybe his character just needs a fresh start. Who better than Captain America, aka Chris Evans?
The other two possibilities is that Tim Allen wasn't asked to revive the character again, or that he didn't want to come back. In the same interview with Us Weekly, Tim talks about how emotional Toy Story 4 made him: “It’s a very different Pixar movie. It’s not somber, but very reflective, layered. I put too much into it because I’m involved in it. I’m too close to it. I literally had a tough time watching it, because it brought up some of my own personal stuff about loss, change, moving on. It’s heartwarming. A little tough, but essentially pays off," he said.
Could it be that Tim is just emotionally done with the Toy Story franchise? As of publication, Tim Allen has not addressed the change in voice actors, nor has Disney provided an explanation.