Tom Hanks has spoken out on the decision to not cast Tim Allen in the new Buzz Lightyear movie.
Tim voiced the space ranger in all four Toy Story movies from 1995 until 2019, but it was Chris Evans who was asked to take on the role in the Lightyear project.
The move has caused confusion to say the least, with Tom himself – who voiced Woody originally – stating that he ‘doesn’t understand’ why Tim wouldn’t be asked to return.
Tim’s former co-star weighed in on the criticism surrounding the spin-off prequel, admitting that it felt ‘strange to be in theatres opposite a Buzz Lightyear film’.
Speaking to CinemaBlend, the 65-year-old said: ‘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.’
Continuing to share his thoughts on Chris being cast as Buzz, 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 [Tim] – I’m looking forward to that.’
However, Lightyear’s producers wanted the new Buzz to be a different character to the one fans know and love, played by Tim.
In an interview with Den of Geek, Galyn Susman said it was ‘important to differentiate our hero Buzz from the toy based on his character and represented in the Toy Story movies.’
On the decision to cast Chris as Buzz, she said: ‘He needed to have a nice, rich sound, able to be both dramatic and comedic, and most importantly, he needed to be heroic without coming off as arrogant or dense. That’s a tall order, and we immediately knew we had to ask Chris Evans.’
Meanwhile, the film’s director Angus MacLane told Vanity Fair that Chris ‘has the gravitas and that movie star quality’ that Buzz needed to ‘separate him and the movie from Tim’s version of the toy in Toy Story.’
‘Tim’s version of Buzz is a little goofier and is a little dumber, and so he is the comic relief,’ he told the outlet.
‘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.’
This hasn’t been the only drama that’s tainted the film’s release, as the spinoff received criticism over a kiss between two female characters, one of which is named Hawthorne and voiced by Uzo Aduba.
Earlier this year, it was reported that Disney had cut the scene from the film before restoring it amid backlash over Florida’s Don’t Say Gay bill, and it has been supposedly banned in several other countries.
Lightyear is showing in cinemas now.