Let’s be real here. No one asked for a Buzz Lightyear origin story, nor is it something the Pixar cinematic universe (PCU) was in dire need of. Yet here we are. And despite how much we want to rag on the upcoming Chris Evans-led animated film, in all honesty, the first Lightyear trailer has left us intrigued.
Before we proceed, some clarification is required. This isn’t the origin story of the Toy Story character voiced by former cocaine trafficker Tim Allen. This will apparently be a tale of the legendary space ranger and American hero who inspired the toy and “won generations of fans.” Which is all well and good, except for the fact Toy Story kicked off in the mid-90s and Lightyear appears to be set in a near-distant future. Maybe there’s some Star Wars-type fuckery with the timeline.
“The movie doesn’t end and then you see Andy eating popcorn,” director Angus MacLane explains to Entertainment Weekly.
“This is its own thing… This is standalone. It’s the Buzz Lightyear movie. It’s that character but as the space ranger, not as the toy.”
Angus MacLane, of course, is a Pixar veteran who worked his way from being an animator for such hits as A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, and Wall-E, to co-directing Finding Dory starring Ellen Degeneres alongside Andrew Stanton. Lightyear will mark his solo directorial debut.
The footage provided so far depicts Evan’s Buzz Lightyear slingshotting around the gravitational pull of what appears to be the sun, contemplating man’s place in the universe while gazing out a window, encountering extraterrestrial life, briefly glimpsing the inspiration behind his action figure’s Zurgbot adversary, and being startled by an android cat – all while the obligatory ‘Starman’ by David Bowie scores the action. On paper, it promises to be a goofy affair of which many of us aren’t the intended audience. But hell, it’d be a lie to say we weren’t looking forward to this just a little.
“The phrase ‘a dream come true’ gets thrown around a lot, but I’ve never meant it more in my life,” says Chris Evans himself via statement.
“Anyone who knows me knows that my love for animated films runs deep. I can’t believe that I get to be a part of the Pixar family and work with these truly brilliant artists who tell stories unlike anyone else. Watching them work is nothing short of magic. I pinch myself every day.”
Pixar’s Lightyear is scheduled to premiere on June 17th of 2022 (currently unclear whether this means exclusive to theatres or simultaneously released via Disney+) – watch the teaser trailer above.