For more than five years, Disney and Pixar have been working on Lightyear. Chris Evans will take over the part previously voiced by Tim Allen in the Toy Story spin-off, which explores the real story of the in-universe Buzz Lightyear on whom the toys were based.
The film is expected to be the type of film that inspired the Buzz Lightyear toy line and piqued Andy’s interest in purchasing the action figure.
Announcement of Lightyear
As part of Disney Investor’s Day in December 2020, Lightyear was revealed to the general audience. Along with Evans’ addition to the cast, the studio also set the release date for June 17, 2022. This would debut in theatres just three years after the original Toy Story 4’s Buzz Lightyear.
Many Pixar films take a long time to produce, with WALL-E originating in 1995 and finally being released in 2008. With the announcement of Lightyear, the casting of a star, and the release of a new trailer, it appeared that Pixar had been working on it for some time.
Working since 2016
Lightyear director Angus MacLane told Fandango that Pixar has been working on the picture since 2016. Shortly after the release of Finding Dory (which he co-directed with Andrew Stanton), MacLane offered the concept to the studio, and they’ve been working on it ever since.
The movie was difficult to keep a secret because they began working from home during the COVID-19 outbreak, and MacLane’s children began to notice what he was working on.
Due to the fact that Lightyear was proposed to Pixar in 2016, the studio was working on two Toy Story-related films at the time. Toy Story 4 was first announced to the public in November 2014, two years before Lightyear was proposed, at a Disney Investor call. Josh Cooley, the director of Toy Story 4, revealed that work on the fourth picture began before Toy Story 3 was even released.
Original screenwriters Rashida Jones and Will McCormack left due to creative differences with Pixar, John Lasseter recently resigned in the wake of many sexual harassment and misconduct charges during his time at Pixar, and Toy Story 4’s release date was shifted to meet with Incredibles 2.