It’s never easy to take on a famous role, but that’s exactly what Chris Evans is doing in the upcoming Disney movie “Lightyear.” Tim Allen first put on Buzz’s trademark space boots, and Chris Evans had to find his own version of the legendary phrase of the intergalactic hero.
In an interview with Variety on the red carpet of the premiere of the movie “Lightyear”, Marvel star Chris Evans spoke about the pitfalls of recreating Buzz’s call sign “to infinity and beyond.” How did he do it? He said:
Sure. It’s hard. I mean, the first time you need to play that iconic phrase “To Infinity and Beyond,” you’re kind of just shamelessly parodying Tim Allen. “Because it’s scary. But Angus [McLane] and everyone at Pixar collaborated so much that you kind of let them guide you.
Few films are more famous than Toy Story, and Buzz Lightyear is one of the most recognizable characters in the Pixar library. Unsurprisingly, even a major movie star like Chris Evans was a little intimidated by the mantle he accepted from Tim Allen. Adult fans will flock to cinemas to see a new version of their favorite childhood hero, many of them have their own children.
In such a tense situation, how does an actor manage to embody a familiar character without resorting to cheap imitation? You can do it with a little help from your friends. Chris Evans had a film director, Angus MacLaine, who kept him on the right track. The Pixar animation veteran has worked on many of the studio’s most beloved films, including Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, and even Toy Story 2 and 3. It’s safe to say that he knows exactly what viewers are looking for when it comes to Buzz Lightyear.
This does not mean that Chris Evans will not draw inspiration from the original performance. He shared:
Eventually you will feel comfortable enough to try to make your own footprints in the snow and find your own interpretation, while continuing to use Tim Allen as a plan.
While fans may have been disappointed to learn of Tim Allen’s departure, Chris Evans will not replace the real toy character. Rather, the film will follow the astronaut on whom Buzz’s action figure would be based in the world of Toy Story. There’s plenty of room here to personalize the character — and at the same time paying homage to the first person to go to infinity and beyond.
Lightyear will be released in theaters on June 17, 2022. This will be Pixar’s first exclusive theatrical release since “Forward” in 2020, so don’t forget to get tickets while you still can. While you’re waiting for the movie’s release date, you can revisit the original Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story with a Disney+ subscription.