Lightyear — release date, cast, plot, new trailer and more

Lightyear
(Image credit: Disney)

Lightyear is a new spin-off in the Toy Story movie franchise, which will explore the origin story of the Space Ranger who inspired the Buzz Lightyear action figure owned by Andy and Bonnie throughout the original film franchise.

The film is directed by Angus MacLane, who co-directed 2016’s Finding Dory, and is written by Up and Inside Out writer Pete Docter.

Although Tim Allen voices the figurine of Buzz Lightyear in the Toy Story films, there's a new voice actor to take on the role of the Space Ranger in this film. Captain America star Chris Evans will be voicing the character.

The trailers reveal that there's plenty of humor in Lightyear and it’s great to see Buzz finally going to infinity and beyond! We of course see Buzz trying to contact Star Command, who, as ever, don’t answer! And his mission looks thrilling...

Here's everything we know about the film so far...

Lightyear release date

Lightyear will be released in cinemas on 17 June 2022 and is expected to be one of the biggest new movies in 2022. It will later be available on streaming services.

What is the plot?

Lightyear is an origin story, focusing on the character who would go on to inspire the Buzz Lightyear action figure that heads up the Toy Story franchise alongside unlikely pals such as Woody the Cowboy, Mr. Potato Head, and Rex the T-Rex.

According to Disney: "The sci-fi action-adventure presents the definitive origin story of Buzz Lightyear — the hero who inspired the toy — introducing the legendary Space Ranger who would win generations of fans."

Who's in the cast?

Chris Evans voices Buzz, with James Brolin voicing Emperor Zurg (who everyone remembers from the Toy Story films as Buzz's nemesis!). 

Other cast includes Keke Palmer as Izzy and Dale Soules as Darby Steel. While  Jo Jo Rabbit director Taika Waititi voices Mo.

A post shared by Chris Evans (@chrisevans) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

Is there a trailer?

Yes, an official teaser trailer has been released and gives fans a glimpse of the man who inspired the Buzz Lightyear action figure that has featured throughout all four original Toy Story films. 

The trailer, set to David Bowie's Starman, shows Space Ranger Buzz Lightyear blasting off into space and getting himself into a variety of thrilling and risky situations!

Plus, another trailer has also been released!

Lucy Buglass
Senior Staff Writer

Lucy joined the WhatToWatch.com team in 2021, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes, reviews and the latest TV news. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.


She is a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema. She especially loves horror, thriller and anything crime-related. Her favourite TV programmes include Inside No 9, American Horror Story, Stranger Things and Black Mirror but she is also partial to a quiz show or a bit of Say Yes to the Dress