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 Pixar’s 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. It is being directed by Angus MacLane (in his feature directorial debut), written by Pete Docter, and stars the voice of Chris Evans as the titular character.
Development on Lightyear started after finishing work on the Finding Nemo (2003) sequel 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.
Lightyear is scheduled to be released in theatres in the United States on June 17, 2022.