Lightyear (film)

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Lightyear
Buzz Lightyear on the space ranger suit sees the outer space on the right.
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAngus MacLane
Screenplay by
  • Jason Headley
  • Angus MacLane
Produced byGalyn Susman
Starring
Cinematography
  • Jeremy Lasky
  • Ian Megibben
Edited byAnthony J. Greenberg
Music byMichael Giacchino
Production
companies
Distributed byWalt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Release date
  • June 17, 2022 (2022-06-17)
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

Lightyear is an upcoming American computer-animated science-fiction superhero action drama adventure film produced by Pixar Animation Studios 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 test pilot/astronaut character who the Buzz Lightyear toy/action figure featured in the main films was inspired by, and is presented as a blockbuster film within a film the characters in Toy Story would watch. This concept was previously explored with the 2000 direct-to-video film Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins which was the pilot to a spin-off television series, Buzz Lightyear of Star Command (2000–2001). The film was co-written and directed by Angus MacLane and stars Chris Evans as the voice of the title character, with Keke Palmer, Peter Sohn, James Brolin, Taika Waititi, Dale Soules, Uzo Aduba, Mary McDonald-Lewis, Efren Ramirez and Isiah Whitlock Jr. in supporting roles.[1]

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.

The film is scheduled to be theatrically released in the United States on June 17, 2022, in RealD 3D, Dolby Cinema and IMAX formats.[2]

Premise[edit]

A sci-fi action adventure and the definitive origin story of Buzz Lightyear, the hero who inspired the toy, Lightyear follows the legendary Space Ranger after he’s marooned on a hostile planet 4.2 million light-years from Earth alongside his commander and their crew. As Buzz tries to find a way back home through space and time, he’s joined by a group of ambitious recruits and his charming robot companion cat, Sox. Complicating matters and threatening the mission is the arrival of Zurg, an imposing presence with an army of ruthless robots and a mysterious agenda.

--Pixar[3]

Voice cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

Director Angus MacLane.

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 character of Buzz since he started working at Pixar, feeling that the film's story was very "personal" for him, whose favourite movie since childhood had been Star Wars (1977).[8][9] 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.[8]

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".[10] 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,[11] but producer Mark Nielsen disclosed a possibility of a fifth film, as Pixar was not ruling out that possibility.[12]

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 character, with Chris Evans providing the character's voice.[4]

In March 2022, it was revealed that a scene featuring a same-sex kiss between Uzo Aduba's Alisha Hawthorne and another woman was initially cut. However, due to current Disney CEO Bob Chapek's response to Florida's Parental Rights in Education bill and the internal uproar it caused within Disney, the scene was reinstated.[13]

When asked about the relationship between Lightyear and Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, a Toy Story spin-off series that also serves as an in-universe production starring the Buzz character, MacLane said that he did not have the series in mind while working on the film, but always pictured the series being developed in-universe after a trilogy of Lightyear films.[14][9]

Casting[edit]

Chris Evans was announced as the voice of the human Buzz Lightyear along with the project's announcement in December 2020.[4] Evans was the first and only choice MacLane had for Buzz.[15] 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.[8] Taika Waititi was reported to have been cast in an undisclosed role in November 2021.[16] Keke Palmer, Dale Soules, Uzo Aduba, James Brolin, Mary McDonald-Lewis, Efren Ramirez and Isiah Whitlock Jr. were reported to have been cast in supporting roles in February 2022, following the release of the official trailer.[17] On May 6, 2022, European Space Agency astronaut Tim Peake was revealed to have a cameo as "Tim from Mission Control"[7].

Animation[edit]

The animators wanted the film to look "cinematic" and "chunky" in order to evoke the feeling of the sci-fi films MacLane grew up with.[15] In order to achieve this, they asked a former Industrial Light & Magic employee to build a spaceship model for them, from which the animators drew inspiration; this technique was inspired by designers for early sci-fi films using models as inspiration for their sets and props.[15] MacLane said the animation took several "visual lessons" from early sci-fi and space opera films such as those of the Star Wars franchise, though without intentionally imitating such films.[18] For the IMAX release, it will be the first animated feature film in history to have its aspect ratio opened up from 2.39:1 to 1.43:1 for select sequences of the film.[19]

Music[edit]

On January 25, 2022, it was announced that recurrent Pixar composer Michael Giacchino would compose the score for the film; he previously scored the Toy Story TV specials Toy Story of Terror! (2013; also directed by MacLane) and Toy Story That Time Forgot (2014), and would be the second film (and fourth overall production) he would score an installment to a film franchise from Pixar that is traditionally scored by Randy Newman, after Cars 2.[20]

Marketing[edit]

A first look of the film was shown at the Disney Investor Day on December 10, 2020.[21] 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).[22][23] A second trailer was released on February 8, 2022.[24] A third trailer was released on April 21, 2022.[25] A final, "special look" trailer was released on May 5, 2022.[26]

Lego has revealed three new sets based on scenes from Lightyear. The three sets were available on April 24, 2022.[27]

Release[edit]

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.[4][28] 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.[29]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pedersen, Erik (February 8, 2022). "'Lightyear' Trailer Follows Origins Of 'Toy Story' Space Ranger – To Infinity And Before!". Deadline. Archived from the original on February 8, 2022. Retrieved February 8, 2022.
  2. ^ Har-Even, Benny (February 28, 2022). "Lightyear In IMAX Will Feature 1.43:1 Aspect Ratio Scenes". Forbes. Archived from the original on March 14, 2022. Retrieved March 18, 2022.
  3. ^ https://www.pixar.com/lightyear
  4. ^ a b c d Jackson, Angelique (December 10, 2020). "Chris Evans to Voice Buzz Lightyear in Pixar's 'Lightyear,' Disney Announces 'Encanto' With Music by Lin-Manuel Miranda". Variety. Archived from the original on December 17, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Bastos, Margarida (February 8, 2022). "'Lightyear' Full Voice Cast Includes Taika Waititi, Keke Palmer, James Brolin, and More". Collider. Archived from the original on March 3, 2022. Retrieved March 8, 2022.
  6. ^ Milligan, Mercedes (April 27, 2022). "CinemaCon: Disney Details Pixar, 20th, Marvel Slate, 'Avatar' Sequel". Animation Magazine. Retrieved April 30, 2022.
  7. ^ a b "Lightyear: Tim Peake As 'Tim From Launch Control' Cameo! (UK Featurette)". www.yahoo.com. Retrieved May 6, 2022.
  8. ^ a b c "DIRECTOR ANGUS MACLANE CALLS CHRIS EVANS 'SUCH A JOY' AS BUZZ IN 'LIGHTYEAR,' PIXAR'S LOVE LETTER TO SCI-FI ADVENTURE MOVIES". Fandango Media. October 27, 2021. Archived from the original on October 28, 2021. Retrieved October 28, 2021.
  9. ^ a b Lussier, Germain (April 21, 2022). "Lightyear Explained: The Story Behind Pixar's New Toy Story Film". Gizmodo. Retrieved April 21, 2022.
  10. ^ Libbey, Dirk (February 7, 2019). "Toy Story 5? Here's What Tim Allen Says". CinemaBlend. Archived from the original on December 2, 2019. Retrieved August 30, 2019.
  11. ^ Kinane, Ruth (May 22, 2019). "Tim Allen warned Tom Hanks about the emotional ending to Toy Story 4 before he read it". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on October 29, 2021. Retrieved October 29, 2021.
  12. ^ Bonomolo, Cameron (May 26, 2019). "Pixar Not Ruling Out Toy Story 5". ComicBook.com. Archived from the original on June 3, 2019. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
  13. ^ Vary, Adam B. (March 18, 2022). "Same-Sex Kiss Restored in Pixar's 'Lightyear' Following Staff Uproar Over 'Don't Say Gay' Bill (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Archived from the original on March 19, 2022. Retrieved March 18, 2022.
  14. ^ Hermanns, Grant (April 21, 2022). "Angus MacLane & Galyn Susman Interview: Lightyear". Screen Rant. Retrieved April 21, 2022.
  15. ^ a b c "'Lightyear' Director Angus MacLane on Making the Action Sci-Fi Movie That Buzz Lightyear Is Based On". Collider. October 27, 2021. Archived from the original on October 30, 2021. Retrieved November 9, 2021.
  16. ^ Shuler, Skyler (November 11, 2021). "Exclusive: Taika Waititi to Voice a Character in Pixar's 'Lightyear'". The DisInsider. Archived from the original on November 11, 2021. Retrieved November 11, 2021.
  17. ^ Bastos, Margarida (November 11, 2021). "'Lightyear' Full Voice Cast Includes Taika Waititi, Keke Palmer, James Brolin, and More". Collider. Archived from the original on February 8, 2022. Retrieved February 8, 2022.
  18. ^ Chris Evans goes to infinity and beyond in Pixar's first Lightyear teaser trailer
  19. ^ Har-Even, Benny (March 29, 2022). "Lightyear In IMAX Will Feature 1.43:1 Aspect Ratio Scenes". Forbes. Retrieved March 29, 2022.
  20. ^ "Michael Giacchino Scoring Pixar's Lightyear". Film Music Reporter. January 25, 2022. Archived from the original on January 25, 2022. Retrieved January 25, 2022.
  21. ^ "THE 2020 INVESTOR DAY PROGRAMMING FACT SHEET" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on April 21, 2021. Retrieved March 16, 2022.
  22. ^ Complex, Valerie (October 27, 2021). "'Lightyear' Teaser Trailer Shows Why A Buzz Lightyear Action Figure Exists In The 'Toy Story' Universe". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on October 29, 2021. Retrieved November 2, 2021.
  23. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (October 29, 2021). "'Lightyear' Teaser Rockets To 83 Million Views In First 24 Hours, Ahead Of 'Eternals' & Second Best Ever For Pixar Movie". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on October 29, 2021. Retrieved October 29, 2021.
  24. ^ Perine, Aaron (February 8, 2022). "Disney Releases New Lightyear Trailer". Comicbook. Retrieved April 21, 2022.
  25. ^ Perine, Aaron (April 21, 2022). "Lightyear Reveals Brand New Official Trailer". Comicbook.com. Retrieved April 21, 2022.
  26. ^ "Lightyear Special Look Trailer Released by Disney Pixar". Movies. Retrieved May 5, 2022.
  27. ^ "LEGO Disney Lightyear Sets Revealed". thebrickfan.com. March 28, 2022. Retrieved March 28, 2022.
  28. ^ Har-Even, Benny (February 28, 2022). "Lightyear In IMAX Will Feature 1.43:1 Aspect Ratio Scenes". Forbes. Archived from the original on March 14, 2022. Retrieved March 22, 2022.
  29. ^ "Turning Red deserved to be Pixar's 1st movie back in theaters". The Week. March 11, 2022. Archived from the original on March 11, 2022. Retrieved March 13, 2022.

External links[edit]