Casting the perfect Buzz Lightyear sounds like it might be a daunting task with such big space boots to fill, but according to director and screenwriter Angus MacLane and producer Galyn Susman, it was actually quite easy.
Casting the Perfect LIGHTYEAR
“Chris [Evans] was our first and only choice,” said Director and screenwriter Angus MacLane. “We were so thrilled that he warmed to the project immediately, and has been such a wonderful partner for us.”
Pixar's highly anticipated LIGHTYEAR soars into theatres June 17, 2022, and with it comes the role of a lifetime as the iconic toy from 1995's Toy Story gets its own origin story voiced by none other than Chris Evans, the man behind Marvel's iconic live-action Captain America.
CASTING CHRIS EVANS AS LIGHTYEAR
Angus MacLane and Galyn Susman knew they needed a new special, unique voice to help differentiate between Buzz the toy and Buzz the hero. Who better to play a Space Ranger out of time than the man who played a different Captain out of time? Thankfully, Chris Evans was up for the challenge and reported for space duty—and we can't wait to see the finished film because the first 30 minutes were stellar.
“When casting Buzz, it was important to differentiate our hero Buzz from the toy…represented in the Toy Story movies,” said Gayle Susman. “So that meant we needed a new voice for Buzz. He needed to have that nice rich sound, able to be both dramatic and comedic. And most importantly, he needed to be heroic without coming off as arrogant or dense. That's a tall order. We immediately knew we had to ask Chris [Evans].”
“What we didn't know is that he is a huge animation fan and would bring that love and passion into the project, as well as his myriad acting talents. He even attended animation dailies and gave the team a pep talk. It's really been a wonderful collaboration, and we couldn't be happier.”
“Because the voice is so iconic, you run the risk of imitation. I never wanted someone that was gonna imitate that character's voice,” said Angus MacLane. “I imagined this was a movie that later there was a spinoff cartoon, and then the Toy Story toy was made off of that cartoon design.”
“I knew that the character was iconic enough that you needed someone with the gravitas and seriousness, and balance of comedy and drama. [There's a] very narrow window of actors that could do it. There was a lot of comedy and serious action stuff that we'd seen Chris Evans do, and I was always impressed by his ability to not seem too goofy but be able to laugh at himself. I think that's really essential for the character.”
“He had played a character that was a square lantern-jawed hero that was out of time. This is a different character, but trapped in a future he doesn't recognize, he plays that very comedically well. Chris was our first and only choice. We were so thrilled that he warmed to the project immediately, and has been such a wonderful partner for us.”
READ: FIRST LOOK at Disney Pixar's LIGHTYEAR Trailer, Poster, and Images
LIGHTYEAR is coming to theaters June 17, 2022.
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