How do you continue a beloved franchise like Toy Story without resorting to yet another sequel? If you’re Pixar, the answer is Lightyear, which isn’t a new adventure with Buzz Lightyear, Woody, and the rest of the gang. It’s instead a look at the astronaut hero who inspired the Buzz Lightyear toy. It’s also a nifty way to bring in Chris “Captain America” Evans to voice the character.
Joining Evans in the cast are Keke Palmer, Peter Sohn, Taika Waititi, Dale Soules, Uzo Aduba, James Brolin, Mary McDonald-Lewis, Efren Ramirez, and Isiah Whitlock Jr. Based on the footage, it looks like an old school space adventure, in the vein of Star Wars, but with some Top Gun mixed in there, too. Pretty cool to see from the folks at Pixar who have never done anything like this before.
“Buzz’s world was always something I was excited about,” said director Angus MacLane. “In ‘Toy Story,’ there seemed to be this incredible backstory to him being a Space Ranger that’s only touched upon, and I always wanted to explore that world further. So my ‘Lighytear’ pitch was, ‘What was the movie that Andy saw that made him want a Buzz Lightyear toy?’ I wanted to see that movie. And now I’m lucky enough to get to make it.”
Lightyear opens in theaters on June 17th, assuming Disney doesn’t move it to Disney+ as they’ve done all of Pixar’s films recently.