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'Lightyear' — everything we know about the 'Toy Story' spin-off

Lightyear
(Image credit: Disney)

Lightyear is a new spin-off in the Toy Story film 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 movie 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. Disney has confirmed that Captain America star Chris Evans will be voicing the character for the upcoming film.

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?

So far, the only confirmed cast member is Chris Evans who will be taking on the titular role. In a statement, he revealed: "The phrase ‘a dream come true’ gets thrown around a lot, but I’ve never meant it more in my life. 

"Anyone who knows me knows that my love for animated films runs deep. I can’t believe that I get to be a part of the Pixar family and work with these truly brilliant artists who tell stories unlike anyone else. Watching them work is nothing short of magic. I pinch myself every day."

According to The DisInsider, Jojo Rabbit director Taika Waititi reportedly has an undisclosed role in the film but this has not yet been confirmed. The role is said to be a "sidekick to Buzz Lightyear".

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!

Lucy Buglass

Lucy is a digital writer with WhatToWatch.com, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes and the latest TV news. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University in 2016 with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.


She is also a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema, setting up her own website Lucy Goes to Hollywood in 2017 to review films in her spare time. Her favourite genres are horror, thriller and anything crime related. When she's not writing about film and TV, you'll likely find her playing video games, reading, and trying her hand at podcasting.