Tom Hanks Hits Out At Decision To Replace Tim Allen As Buzz Lightyear
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The Space Ranger was originally voiced by Tim Allen in the first four Toy Story films, however Captain America star Chris Evans replaced the Santa Clause actor for the new spinoff.
Hanks, who is known for providing the voice of Woody in the beloved animated franchise, has only just responded the the casting switcheroo in an interview to promote his role in Baz Luhrmann's Elvis.
When asked if it was 'strange to be in theatres opposite a Buzz Lightyear film,' he told to CinemaBlend: “How about that? I actually wanted to go head-to-head with Tim Allen and then they didn’t let Tim Allen do it. I don’t understand that.”
When Evans' casting was brought up in the interview, the iconic actor said: “Yeah, yeah, I know.”
He added: “Here’s the thing: I want to go back in the theatre with a bunch of strangers and leave with something in common. That’s what I want to do and going to see a movie with [Allen] – I’m looking forward to that.”
Hanks and Allen first played Woody and Buzz Lightyear in 1995's Toy Story, which was Pixar's first feature length film. The off-screen pals returned to voice their characters in the sequels released in 1999, 2010 and 2019.
Evans has defended his casting and clarified that Lightyear is not based on the toy, but is inspired by the 'real-life' astronaut who inspired the toy in the Pixar universe.
Director Angus MacLane also explained the decision to replace Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear for the new film. Speaking to Vanity Fair at the Lightyear's world premiere in Hollywood on Wednesday (8 June), he said: "Tim’s version of Buzz is a little goofier and is a little dumber, and so he is the comic relief.
"In this film, Buzz is the action hero. He’s serious and ambitious and funny, but not in a goofy way that would undercut the drama.
"Chris Evans has the gravitas and that movie star quality that our character needed to separate him and the movie from Tim’s version of the toy in Toy Story."
Evans also weighed in on replacing Allen and revealed he used Allen 'as a guideline' for his own portrayal.
"I’d be a fool not to acknowledge the work he did," Evans said. "But I couldn’t just do a shameless impression.
"I had to somehow create my own understanding of the character, and try to make some fresh tracks in the snow while paying homage to the great work that he did."
"The brass that did the first four movies, it’s just a whole new team that really have nothing to do with the first movies," he said.
"It’s [Tom] Hanks and I. There’s really no Toy Story’s Buzz without Woody. I’m a plot guy …it seemed to be a big adventure story. As I see, it’s not a big adventure story. It’s a wonderful story. It just doesn’t seem to have any connection to the toy.
"It has no relationship to Buzz. It’s just no connection. I wish there was a better connection."
The main cast also includes Taika Waititi, Uzo Aduba and Keke Palmer, the latter who praised the film for its diversity.
Lightyear is available to watch in cinemas now.