Last night’s Disney+ announcement was intense. Over the next three years, the streaming platform and entertainment conglomerate will release a dozen new Star Wars properties from TV shows to movies, a slew of new Marvel properties from What If to WandaVision to the Hawk-Eye show and more. Dozens of projects will be hitting the platform over the next three years as the company pivots to streaming in a major way. One of the most surprising projects, however, is Lightyear. But what the hell is it?
Lightyear, as you can probably tell, is a prequel film in what could become the Toy Story extended universe (?). Lightyear will follow none other than Buzz Lightyear, the astronaut space cadet of the Toy Story franchise. Except — and this is a big clarification from what we’ve been led to understand about the universe of talking toys and the forgetful kids who lose them – the Buzz Lightyear we’ve come to know and love, voiced by Tim Allen, isn’t returning to the Lightyear movie as a young version of his toy-self.
In fact, this movie suggests, Buzz the toy is based on a real-life astronaut who really existed as a real human being in the Toy Story universe, not just a toy. So the film is about “real-life” astronaut Buzz Lightyear who spawned a generation of kid’s toys before he spawned the generation of kid’s toys. That’s a lot to swallow – but it looks like it could be fun!
Since the film is a Pixar property, it will be animated, but obviously, Ted Allen isn’t returning to voice the real-life Buzz. Instead, Chris Evans, AKA Captain America, will be taking the role of the real-life Buzz. The film comes out in the summer of 2022.
Blasting into theaters June 17, 2022, Lightyear is the definitive story of the original Buzz Lightyear. Voiced by Chris Evans, get ready to go to “infinity and beyond” with Lightyear.🚀 👨🚀 pic.twitter.com/DBqk3cTXbt
— Toy Story (@toystory) December 11, 2020
Lightyear is one of a series of Pixar films — last night was frankly huge — that was announced. Another Cars movie, an Up spinoff, Pixar’s first-ever animated series, Win or Lose, a movie called Luca, and another original film titled Turning Red are all slated in the works.
Add that to a dozen Marvel announcements, a dozen Star Wars titles, and you’ve got yourself a couple of busy years spent on the couch — which is great, considering that “normal life” might not return until 2022, according to epidemiologists.
And of course, while the news is exciting, it does come alongside the fact that Disney+ is raising its prices.