Director Angus MacLane had previously co-directed the 2016 Pixar film Finding Dory along with several short films for the company (namely BURN-E, Toy Story Toons: Small Fry, and the television special Toy Story of Terror!). However, his upcoming film Lightyear, presented as a "film-within-a-film" of the Toy Story universe and depicting the big movie that serves as the basis for the Buzz Lightyear toy line, will be his solo feature-length directorial debut. During the press junket for the film, set to hit theaters on June 17th, MacLane went into some of his inspirations for the new film and, as it seems, used his own personal experiences to fuel the perspective he wanted audiences to feel they were in. While the inspiration is obvious, the reasons behind the decision are quite layered. Check out his full statement below:
"One day after eating corn on the cob of my father, I saw a movie that changed my life: Star Wars. And after I saw Star Wars, all I wanted to play was Star Wars. All I wanted draw was Star Wars. Star Wars was my religion. And it lasted for years. But Star Wars is only the beginning of a string of sci-fi classics that defined my childhood. It seemed like every year there was another genre defining classic and then, in 1995, I saw another film that changed my life: Toy Story. Now you remember in Toy Story, Andy had a birthday party, his favorite gift was a character that he loved, Buzz Lightyear the Space Ranger, it was a toy that would redefine playtime for Andy. I've always wondered what movie was Buzz from, why couldn't we just make that movie? So that's what we did presenting Lightyear, the movie that Andy saw that changed his life, Andy's Star Wars."
This is not the first time the two franchises have crossed paths, notably in Toy Story 2 where Buzz comes face-to-face with a toy version of Zurg. In a homage to The Empire Strikes Back, Zurg reveals to Buzz that he is his father. So, clearly, the galaxy far, far away has always been at the root of Buzz's design. This, in other words, feels like a natural transition.
Lightyear features the voices of Chris Evans, Keke Palmer, Dale Soules, Taika Waititi, Peter Sohn, Uzo Aduba, James Brolin, Mary McDonald-Lewis, Efren Ramirez, and Isiah Whitlock Jr. Stay tuned!