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The bravest Space Ranger to ever grace the halls of Star Command heads for worlds (and dangers) unknown in the official trailer for Pixar's Toy Story spinoff project: Lightyear. Centered around the sci-fi character who served as the basis for the popular action figure owned by Andy, the film stars Chris Evans (Captain America: The First Avenger) as the voice of Buzz Lightyear. As we learn from this batch of footage, the cosmic hero agrees to take part in an ambitious space launch to escape from a planet on which he and others have been marooned for the last year.
There are vibes of Farscape here, as Buzz prepares for an experimental flight that should only last for a few minutes... yeah we've heard that one before. Then of course, there's the epic visuals and hopeful tone that's evocative of the Star Wars franchise we felt already in that earlier teaser trailer.
“Buzz’s world was always something I was excited about," director Angus MacLane (a longtime Pixar animator) said in a statement. “In Toy Story, there seemed to be this incredible backstory to him being a Space Ranger that’s only touched upon, and I always wanted to explore that world further. So my Lighytear pitch was, 'What was the movie that Andy saw that made him want a Buzz Lightyear toy?’ I wanted to see that movie. And now I’m lucky enough to get to make it."
Check out the new trailer below:
In addition to the trailer drop, Disney also announced the supporting voice cast, which includes Keke Palmer, Dale Soules, and Taika Waititi as a group of ambitious recruits. Peter Sohn (another veteran animator known for playing Emilie in Ratatouille) lends his vocal cords to the part of Sox, Buzz's feline robo-companion/comedic relief. Uzo Aduba, James Brolin, Mary McDonald-Lewis, Efren Ramirez, and Isiah Whitlock Jr. round out the ensemble.
"The cast for Lightyear is truly a dream team,” added MacLane. “Each of the performers immediately inhabited their character, which gave us the opportunity to play a bit during recording sessions. This resulted in a level of specificity that elevated the material and brought additional depth to the characters’ relationships. It has been a privilege to work with such a talented and generous cast."
Michael Giacchino (Spider-Man: No Way Home, The Batman) has been tapped to score the film, which marks the composer's eighth collaboration with the acclaimed animation studio after The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Up, Cars 2, Inside Out, Coco, and Incredibles 2.
Produced by Galyn Susman (“Toy Story That Time Forgot”), Lightyear is slated for release on Friday, June 17, though Disney is still not specifying whether the movie will receive a theatrical or streaming rollout. Given the previous box office success of the Toy Story franchise (of which there are now four entries), however, the odds very are good that Buzz is headed for the big screen.
Speaking with Empire for the magazine's February 2022 issue, MacLane explained that the film is less of a Toy Story Easter egg hunt and more of an homage to "the period of sci-fi between 1977 and 1987. But it's also heavily influenced by the cinematography of the 1970s and the French New Wave."