The action figure version of Buzz has been in four instalments of the Toy Story franchise since 1995 as well as plenty of other media.
The film series follows Buzz, Woody, Jesse and pals as they embark on bizarre missions, all while avoiding detection by their human owners.
Space ranger Buzz Lightyear, voiced by Tim Allen in the four films, is one of the most loved Toy Story characters.
And now Buzz is getting a standalone film from Pixar called Lightyear, which will explore the origins of the space ranger action figure in the Toy Story universe.
While Toy Story portrayed the toy version of Buzz, the new film will investigate the “real-life” hero who inspired the character in the trilogy.
This is everything you need to know about the new Buzz Lightyear film - including when it’s set to be released.
What is Lightyear about?
While at first glance viewers might think that Lightyear is about Buzz Lightyear, the toy introduced to audiences in the Toy Story franchise, Lightyear is actually about the person behind the inspiration for the toy.
Astronaut Buzz Lightyear will don the iconic white and green suit for his journey to outer space, and of course he will say the famous catchphrase: “To infinity and beyond.”
Lightyear will act as an origin story for the man behind the toy, with the trailer hinting at the adventures he will encounter, including making friends with a robot cat.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, director Angus MacLane said: “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.”
He added that the film is about “that character but as the space ranger, not as the toy”.
MacLane also hinted that Buzz’s infamous enemy Emperor Zurg might also make an appearance.
“If the core elements of what Buzz is were to be paid off correctly, you would want to make sure that he had a laser, you’d probably want to make sure that he had rocket legs, and you’d probably want to make sure that at some point he had a recognisable antagonist,” He said. “But of course, I’m not at liberty to say anything about anything at this time.”
Who is starring in it?
While Lightyear as voiced by Tim Allen (The Santa Clause, Home Improvement) in the Toy Story movies, it’s Chris Evans who has been cast as the astronaut for this standalone spin-off.
You’ll likely recognise Evans as the comic book hero Captain America in The Avengers franchise, but other notable projects Evans has starred in includes Defending Jacob, Knives Out, Snowpiercer, Scott Pilgrim vs the World and Not Another Teen Movie.
Evans admitted the shift from playing Captain America to his new role in the forthcoming film was “intimidating”.
He said: “Luckily with Captain America, you kind of learn what it feels like to take on a role that people have high expectations for and big shoes to fill.
“But more than anything, humbling that I was able to have the opportunity to be a part of such an amazing franchise.”
Evans said he initially found the role of Captain America more daunting as “there was so many people who had an idea of the character”.
He added: “I thought jumping that hurdle would be tall enough but now trying to fill these shoes is just as daunting.”
The new film also stars Taika Waititi and Keke Palmer.
New Zealand filmmaker and actor Waititi, who voices fellow space explorer Mo Morrison in the film, said that knowing Evans would be starring was a “big thing” which drew him to the project, “because we’re friends and I think he’s great and he can carry a movie like this”.
Waititi said a role in such a popular franchise made him “a little bit” nervous but this was eased by knowing Pixar was at the helm as it has worked across all the Toy Story films.
Directing Lightyear is Angus MacLane, who has worked in the animation department on a number of huge animated films, including A Bug’s Life, Monsters Inc, Cars, Ratatouille, WALLE, Up, and Toy Story 2 and 3.
He also co-directed Finding Dory in 2016 alongside Andrew Stanton, and directed the Toy Story shorts ‘Toy Story of Terror’ and ‘Toy Story Toons: Small Fry’.
When will Lightyear be released?
The film got its cinematic release in the UK on 17 June, and is still available to watch in some cinemas across the country.
Will it be on Disney+?
Yes - most Disney films enjoy a 45 day cinematic run before landing on the streaming service, and this will also be the case with Lightyear.
Lightyear will be released on Disney+ and worldwide on 3 August. All the previous Toy Story films are currently available for streaming via Disney+.
Disney+ is currently available for £7.99 per month, or £79.90 for an entire year. While it offered a free trial when the streaming platform first launched, it is no longer available.