Lightyear: Director explains why Chris Evans replaced Tim Allen as voice of Buzz Lightyear

Allen voiced the beloved character in all four original ‘Toy Story’ films

Inga Parkel
Tuesday 14 June 2022 09:31 BST
Lightyear trailer

Director Angus MacLane has revealed why Chris Evans replaced Tim Allen as the voice of Buzz Lightyear in his forthcoming movie Lightyear.

The new animated film seeks to tell the origin story of the beloved Toy Story character – voiced by Allen in the original franchise– and his journey to infinity and beyond.

Speaking to Vanity Fair at the film’s world premiere in Hollywood on Wednesday (8 June), MacLane explained that the change in actors was an intentional decision.

“Tim’s version of Buzz is a little goofier and is a little dumber, and so he is the comic relief. In this film, Buzz is the action hero. He’s serious and ambitious and funny, but not in a goofy way that would undercut the drama,” he said.

“Chris Evans has the gravitas and that movie star quality that our character needed to separate him and the movie from Tim’s version of the toy in Toy Story.”

Evans gave praise to Allen’s original portrayal, adding that he used “Allen as a guideline”.

“I’d be a fool not to acknowledge the work he did,” he said.

Buzz Lightyear (AP)

“But I couldn’t just do a shameless impression. I had to somehow create my own understanding of the character, and try to make some fresh tracks in the snow while paying homage to the great work that he did,” the Marvel actor clarified.

“Eventually I felt comfortable enough to make my own interpretation, and part of that was lowering the tone of my voice. I basically have to lower the register of my voice in everything that I do.”

Months prior to the movie’s debut, Pixar restored a same-sex kiss shared between two characters, after staff released an open letter criticising Disney’s response to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

“It’s great that it’s back in the film,” Evans said. “It should be more normalised, but I’m glad we are making those steps.”

Lightyear releases in cinemas on 17 June.

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