Chris Evans is stepping into the role of Buzz Lightyear, the beloved animated character formerly portrayed by Tim Allen, in the upcoming Toy Story prequel Lightyear. Disney and Pixar on Wednesday gave fans their first look at the hotly-anticipated film with the release of the official Lightyear teaser trailer, taking fans to infinity and beyond as Evans swaps out his Captain America title for that of another fan-favorite hero.
First announced at Disney Investor Day last December, Lightyear acts as a prequel to the Toy Story films. The animated movie "presents the definitive origin story of Buzz Lightyear — the hero who inspired the toy — introducing the legendary Space Ranger who would win generations of fans," according to the film's official synopsis. The movie will feature a major change from the original films, with Evans taking over the act of voicing Buzz from Allen, who voiced the character in all four Toy Story films, starring opposite Tom Hanks, who voiced Woody.
"The phrase 'a dream come true' gets thrown around a lot, but I've never meant it more in my life," Evans said in a statement upon the teaser's release, Entertainment Weekly reported. "Anyone who knows me knows that my love for animated films runs deep. I can't believe that I get to be a part of the Pixar family and work with these truly brilliant artists who tell stories unlike anyone else. Watching them work is nothing short of magic. I pinch myself every day."
Lightyear is directed by Angus MacLane, who was a co-director on Finding Dory and also directed multiple Toy Story shorts. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, MacLane described the upcoming film as "its own thing," explaining that it is a "standalone" movie. He added, "It's the Buzz Lightyear movie. It's that character but as the space ranger, not as the toy." He added of the film, "it's a straightforward sci-fi action film about the Buzz Lightyear character. In the Toy Story universe, it would be like a movie that maybe Andy would have seen, that would have made him want a Buzz Lightyear figure."
Lightyear is set to arrive in theaters on June 17, 2022, marking the second Pixar movie released next year, following the debut of Turning Red, a follow-up to Luca. During Disney Investor Day, several other spinoffs were announced, including Dug Days, a spinoff series from Pixar's beloved film Up.