Lightyear is an upcoming American computer-animated science-fiction action film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Pictures and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is a spin-off of the Toy Story film series, serving as an origin story for the fictional human character Buzz Lightyear, who inspired the action figure of the same name. This film is being directed by Angus MacLane (in his feature directorial debut) and stars the voice of Chris Evans as the titular character with Taika Waititi. The film explores Buzz Lightyear, a young test pilot who will become a Space Ranger.
Lightyear tells the story of young astronaut Buzz Lightyear, who, after being marooned on a hostile planet with his commander and crew, tries to find a way back home through space and time, while also confronting a threat to the universe's safety. After finishing work on Finding Dory (2016), MacLane, a science fiction fan, pitched the idea of making a film about Buzz Lightyear at Pixar. To evoke the sci-fi films that the director grew up watching, the animators wanted to give the film a "cinematic" and "chunky" look. Michael Giacchino composed the film's score.
Lightyear is scheduled to be theatrically released in the United States on June 17, 2022, in RealD 3D, Dolby Cinema and IMAX formats.
Lightyear revolves around the fictional origin story of the original Buzz Lightyear, the character who inspired the action figure in the Toy Story films. In this film, as he tries to fix the mistake that left him and his crew marooned on a hostile planet, Buzz does his first test flight for Star Command. It doesn't go as expected, as he ends up time travelling 62 years into the future instead and must now find a way to return home. However, when the evil Emperor Zurg threatens the universe's safety along the way, Buzz may be its only hope to save it.
- Chris Evans as Buzz Lightyear
- Keke Palmer as Izzy Hawthorne, Alisha's granddaughter, who Buzz meets
- Keira Hairston as Young Izzy
- Peter Sohn as Sox, a robotic cat and Buzz's companion
- James Brolin as Emperor Zurg
- Taika Waititi as Mo Morrison
- Dale Soules as Darby Steel
- Uzo Aduba as Alisha Hawthorne, Buzz's friend and Izzy's grandmother
- Mary McDonald-Lewis as I.V.A.N.
- Efren Ramirez as Diaz
- Isiah Whitlock Jr. as Commander Burnside
- Tim Peake as "Tim from Mission Control"
Development on Lightyear started after finishing work on Finding Dory (2016). After co-directing Dory with Andrew Stanton, Angus MacLane was allowed to pitch the idea of making a Buzz Lightyear film, having always wondered what movie Andy Davis saw in the original Toy Story (1995) to get interested in a Buzz Lightyear action figure. MacLane, also a science fiction fan, had felt attracted to the Lightyear character since he started working at Pixar, feeling that the film's story was very "personal" for him. An aspect present in the Toy Story films that Lightyear explores is Buzz's disagreement over the nature of reality, which, coupled with his heroic ideals, made an amalgam of sci-fi clichés that MacLane intended to make more than just a punchline.
In February 2019, Tim Allen, who voiced Buzz in the films, expressed interest in doing another film as he "did not see any reason why they would not do it". On The Ellen DeGeneres Show that May, Tom Hanks, the voice of Sheriff Woody, said that Toy Story 4 (2019) would be the final installment in the franchise, but producer Mark Nielsen disclosed a possibility of a fifth film, as Pixar was not ruling out that possibility.
In December 2020 at a Disney Investor Day meeting, Lightyear was announced as a spin-off film depicting the in-universe origin of the human Buzz Lightyear, with Chris Evans providing the character's voice.
Chris Evans was announced to have been cast as the human Buzz Lightyear upon the project's announcement in December 2020. Evans was the first and only choice MacLane had for Buzz. He visited Pixar's offices one day and they pitched him the project during a visit. Evans accepted the offer immediately, given his love for animation. Taika Waititi was reported to have been cast in an undisclosed role, in November 2021.
A first look of the film was shown at the Disney Investor Day on December 10, 2020. The marketing campaign for Lightyear began on October 27, 2021, with the release of a teaser trailer, set to David Bowie's "Starman," that received 83 million views in its first 24 hours. Compared to other Pixar films, the teaser's viewership ranks second behind a teaser for Incredibles 2 (114 million). A second trailer was released on February 8, 2022. A third trailer was released on April 21, 2022. A final, "special look" trailer was released on May 5, 2022.
Lego has revealed three new sets based on scenes from Lightyear. The three sets were available on April 24, 2022.
Lightyear is scheduled to be theatrically released in the United States on June 17, 2022 by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, in RealD 3D, Dolby Cinema and IMAX formats. It will be the first theatrical exclusive release for Pixar since Onward (2020), after Soul (2020), Luca (2021) and Turning Red (2022) were assigned direct-to-streaming releases on Disney+ in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.