The idea behind Lightyear, which came out in theaters a few weeks ago, was always a bit hard for fans to wrap their heads around. So it’s about Buzz Lightyear, but not the Buzz Lightyear that Pixar fans remember from the Toy Story movies — that’s a toy. This is the “real” Buzz Lightyear, as in the astronaut who inspired the toy.
It gets tricky, because describing this Buzz as “real” sounds stupid because both he and the toy are very much fake; they’re movie characters. It’s also weird that Chris Evans voices this new Buzz, since Tim Allen voiced the toy Buzz in four Toy Story movies, the most recent of which came out just a few years ago in 2019. Why are you making this more confusing, Pixar?
It ends up that Tom Hanks, who played Woody in all those Toy Story movies, is also a little perplexed over Allen’s absence. “I don’t understand that,” the actor told CinemaBlend.
Could Tim Allen have kept Lightyear from bombing?
As it happens, Hanks was looking forward to a little friendly competition with Allen, since Hanks also has a movie out in theaters right now: the biopic Elvis. “I actually wanted to go head-to-head with Tim Allen and then they didn’t let Tim Allen do it,” the actor said.
Mind you, Hanks isn’t making a federal case out of any of this, and is just happy that movies like Lightyear are getting people in the theater. “I want to go back into the theater with a bunch of strangers and leave with something in common,” he said. “That’s what I want to do. And going to see a movie with them, I’m looking forward to that.”
That said, Lightyear hasn’t been quite the draw Pixar was hoping, as box office returns have been pretty bad; the movie hasn’t yet made back its $200 million budget. Perhaps Hanks isn’t the only one a little put off by the whole thing. As for Allen, he’s a bit perplexed by the movie, as well. “It’s a wonderful story,” he recently said. “It just doesn’t seem to have any connection to the toy. It’s a little…I dunno. It has no relationship to Buzz. It’s just no connection. I wish there was a better connection to it.”
h/t The A.V. Club