Here’s Why Tim Allen Wasn’t Cast as Buzz Lightyear in Disney’s ‘Lightyear’ Movie

by Emily Morgan

Disney/Pixar’s latest film, Lightyear, just hit theaters, and it has us buzzing with questions. For example, why wasn’t the original voice actor, Tim Allen, in the new flick? 

As you may know, Chris Evans replaced Allen as Buzz Lightyear. And with the new movie, fans of the Toy Story franchise are finally getting a look into the superhero’s backstory and how it’s evolved into a pop culture phenomenon. 

While movie-goers are pumped to see Evans take on the role, many have been pondering why Tim Allen wasn’t cast in the movie. He voiced the character in the original films. 

As fans will recall, the “Home Improvement” actor has a long history with Disney. He spent over two decades voicing the character in many different projects. As a result, many fans are wondering why Allen didn’t opt to reprise the role. 

When the first trailer for Lightyear debuted in October 2021, the film’s director Angus MacLane called the film a “side-quel” to the original franchise made famous in the ’90s and early 2000s. 

During an interview, MacLane said that the film is meant to be a “sci-fi adventure movie starring Buzz Lightyear, the character.” Although he explained why the “Last Man Standing” star wasn’t in the project, fans still wondered about the details behind the decision. 

“I assume that the toy [voiced by Tim Allen] is based on either the cartoon series that was made after the movie or a later movie,” he continued. “So the events that Buzz is talking about in Toy Story [Buzz’s ramblings about the edge of the galaxy, Emperor Zurg, Star Command, etc.] have not yet happened. So this would be the origin story of who we know Buzz Lightyear to be.”

The movie’s producer Galyn Susman also revealed clues about not casting Allen. 

Chris Evans commends Tim Allen for putting Buzz Lightyear on the map

“Tim Allen is Buzz Lightyear the toy,” she said during a recent press conference. “We weren’t making a Toy Story movie. We’re making Buzz Lightyear’s movie. And so first and foremost, we just needed a different person playing that Lightyear, separate from the toy.”

Although viewers won’t see the 69-year-old in Lightyear, it doesn’t mean he didn’t have anything to do with the movie. When Evans revealed that he booked the gig, he congratulated Allen for putting the character in the pop culture stratosphere. 

In addition, when pressed about him replacing Allen, he mentioned how Allen’s commitment to the role shaped the current character. 

“The reason we’re doing this movie is because Tim Allen made such an iconic impact,” Evans said. “Not only would you be a fool to not take his interpretation because it worked so well, but the truth is this character is in fact the human version of that toy, so there does need to be overlap in terms of their cadence and nature.”