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Disney's Lightyear Release Date, Cast And Plot - What We Know So Far

Are you ready to see the story behind infinity and beyond?

During 2020's Disney Investor Day, Pixar announced it would move forward with a "Toy Story" spinoff titled "Lightyear" (via Deadline). While audiences might have assumed the Buzz Lightyear toy was a fictional spaceman, it turns out he's based on a real-life test pilot (at least within the universe of the films) who showed the world what humanity was capable of by launching into space. 

It's an excellent idea to keep the "Toy Story" mythos alive and well and offer some new contextual details for everyone's favorite toy who used to believe he wasn't a toy. As with most Pixar movies, we'd expect this movie to bring audiences to tears, and who knows? If it does well, maybe we'll get a Western film highlighting the cowboy Woody's based on. For the time being, here's everything we know so far about Disney's "Lightyear."

What's the release date for Disney's Lightyear?

"Lightyear" will function as a prequel to the iconic "Toy Story" franchise, offering a glimpse of the human who inspired the Buzz Lightyear line of toys. Pete Docter, Chief Creative Officer for Pixar, spoke about the project briefly at Disney Investor Day 2020, and while he kept details sparse, he did announce the film would drop in theaters on June 17, 2022 (via Variety). It's a prime summer release date that will allow the entire family to head to the cinema to see what inspired Buzz to say, "To infinity and beyond!"

It's noteworthy how Docter mentioned the film would come to theaters. The last two Pixar films to come out — "Luca" and "Soul" — went straight to Disney+ without requiring an extra $30 charge for Premier Access. As the COVID-19 pandemic subsides and theaters begin to re-open, it appears Disney is confident everything will be open for business by the summer of 2022. Only time will tell if things continue on a promising path.

Who's in the cast for Disney's Lightyear?

Chris Evans won over audiences thanks to his decade-spanning performance as Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Captain America, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Cap may have gone back in time to spend his life with Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) in "Avengers: Endgame," but that hasn't stopped rumors from circulating Evans will make a grand return to the MCU in some capacity. Evans himself has downplayed those rumors, and while he may not come back to the superhero world, he'll stay within the Disney family. 

There's been confirmation Evans will lend his voice to the real-life Buzz Lightyear in the upcoming Pixar flick. It's a massive change-up, seeing how Tim Allen has portrayed the toy version of the character throughout four "Toy Story" movies and a cavalcade of short films. Evans has some big shoes to fill, and that fact isn't lost on the actor. After the announcement, Evans took to Twitter to say, "I don't even have the words," alongside a brief teaser video of Disney's "Lightyear."

What's the plot of Disney's Lightyear?

After the announcement of Chris Evans being cast in Disney's "Lightyear," a lot of fans logged onto Twitter to voice their confusion. Many people assumed Evans was replacing Tim Allen as the voice of the Buzz Lightyear we've known for nearly two decades now. Fortunately, the actor cleared everything up with a follow-up tweet, "Just to be clear, this isn't Buzz Lightyear the toy. This is the origin story of the human Buzz Lightyear that the toy is based on."

As of this writing, there's not a ton else to go off of. The official synopsis for the movie, as listed on IMDb, goes as follows: "The story of Buzz Lightyear and his adventures to infinity and beyond." It appears as though Pixar wants to keep audiences in the dark, at least until a trailer comes out to offer more details about what exactly Buzz Lightyear's mission will be. The only thing we do know is that Pixar fans will line up around the block to see this movie.