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Lightyear Director Confirms Chris Evans Was His Only Choice To Play Buzz

Updated: Oct 31, 2021

Angus MacLane opens up on casting Chris Evans for the upcoming Toy Story spinoff Lightyear.

Angus MacLane is directing the upcoming Toy Story spinoff Lightyear. MacLane recently revealed that Chris Evans was indeed his only choice for the role of the titular character. Lightyear will explore the popular Toy Story character Buzz Lightyear’s origin story. For those that don’t know, the narrative of Lightyear won’t have anything to do with the toy, but rather the actual astronaut that inspired the Buzz Lightyear action figure.

The Buzz Lightyear character made his first appearance back in 1995, when the original Toy Story movie was released. The character has then been written into and starred in another subsequent four Toy Story movies, solidifying the character as a household pop culture name. Although the toy version of Buzz Lightyear has previously been voiced by Tim Allen, Chris Evans has now been handed the responsibility of voicing Buzz Lightyear for the upcoming spinoff movie. Angus MacLane has confirmed that the Lightyear movie is a standalone movie, and doesn’t intend to have any connections with the Toy Story movies directly.

Angus MacLane recently sat down with Collider and explained that Chris Evans was the only choice for the part. MacLane’s full comment is below:

"I wanted the film to have like a gravitas to it and a seriousness to it, but also have an actor who could bring comedy with that seriousness. He was really the first and only choice. I didn’t have a number two. It was very clear from the get-go. It was like, 'If you were gonna make a legitimate sci-fi film about Buzz Lightyear, who would you get? Well, Chris Evans' ... You need someone that has that star power. If it had to be live-action, who would do it? He can do both. Although that chin would be so weird in live-action. You could never get around that. But he was the first choice and he’s been such an amazing partner. He totally got the material right away and felt the sense of responsibility to figure out the translation to the character, for this larger context of this sci-fi movie and really deliver on it. He’s just been a wonderful creative partner in the whole process."

Bringing in Chris Evans to replace Tim Allen makes sense, as we are essentially seeing a new character on screen, and not the toy version of Buzz Lightyear we’ve become accustomed to over the years. Interestingly, MacLane also noted that Buzz’s character in the spinoff innately always feels out of place and as though he doesn’t quite fit in anywhere. This will work well to keep the dynamic of the character in line with Buzz from Toy Story - a toy who also felt like an outsider in a human world.

Chris Evans has of course previously starred as Captain America in several Marvel movies, so he is no stranger to playing the clean cut hero. This is something that may have strongly influenced Angus MacLane’s choice in casting. Evans has also demonstrated that he can play characters with flair in movies such as Knives Out. These are also traits that he will no doubt be required to bring to the table when playing Buzz. Lightyear is due for a theatrical release in 2022.

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