We’ve seen the fictional children’s toy Buzz Lightyear take on daring adventure in four Toy Story films, but now it’s time to meet the legend behind the mass produced commercial action figure. Taking over from predecessor Tim Allen, Chris Evans takes on another role as a stoic and indoctrinated tool of a government body in the origin story of Buzz Lightyear, titled Lightyear.
“The phrase ‘a dream come true’ gets thrown around a lot, but I’ve never meant it more in my life,” Evans says in a 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.”
While Evans voices the title character, the only moment we actually get to hear his voice in the trailer comes at the very end when he utters a single, solitary “and.” Nope, not “To infinity and beyond”—just “and.”
We do get to see Lightyear as a Space Ranger—instead of as the sentient and delusional toy version of himself from the Toy Story films— fly through space and fight off aliens as David Bowie’s “Starman” rings out.
Angus MacLane, veteran Pixar animator and co-director of Finding Dory, helms Lightyear in his solo directorial debut. As reported by Collider, Pete Docter, the chief creative officer of Pixar previously explained the inspiration behind the backstory feature.
“Back when we created the first Toy Story, we designed Buzz Lightyear with the idea that he was a toy based on some really cool character from an epic blockbuster film,” Docter says. “Well, all these years later, we decided to make that film.”
Upon his casting last year, Evans could hardly contain his excitement in a post shared on Instagram. “Trust me when I say that they REALLY know what they’re doing over there. This one is gonna be special, and it doesn’t step on a single thing. I can’t even put my excitement into words. I smile every time I think about it.”
Lightyear is set to touchdown in theaters on June 17, 2022.