Toy Story star Tom Hanks recently reacted to Tim Allen not being cast in Lightyear. Pixar’s Lightyear delves into the backstory of everyone’s favorite space ranger, Buzz Lightyear. The film debuted on June 17th of this year and features the voice talents of Chris Evans, James Brolin, Taika Waititi, Bill Hader, and Keke Palmer. Lightyear received praise from critics and audiences alike but underperformed at the box office, grossing only $50.6 million.
Tim Allen voiced Buzz Lightyear in the Toy Story franchise, but Disney recast Chris Evans in the role for Lightyear. Many were confounded by this choice, but it hints at something very important. Disney is seemingly distancing itself from certain talent. Over the past few years, Tim Allen has proven to be outspoken about his beliefs and political opinions. Many of which skew conservative. While Disney has explained why they recast the role, many are still wondering if Allen’s political opinions played a part in him being recast.
In a recent interview with CinemaBlend, Tom Hanks spoke up about Tim Allen’s absence from Lightyear. While he doesn’t go into great detail, he does express his opinion on the matter. You can see the full comment below:
“Actually, I wanted to go head-to-head with Tim Allen, and then they didn’t let Tim Allen do it. I don’t understand that.”
This whole controversy is interesting for a couple of reasons. First, the optics are intriguing. While Disney might not have intentionally distanced themselves from Tim Allen, it certainly appears so. They have actively denied that they did so. However, a lot of fans aren’t buying it. Secondly, if Disney indeed is distancing itself from certain talent, it sets a bit of precedence. We all know actors are thrust into the spotlight and put under a microscope. Everything they say or do is critiqued by the masses. In the case of someone like Tim Allen who has no filter, this can cause problems. Problems that can negatively impact his career.
The recast may seem simple, explainable even, but it opens a can of worms. It says to the world that if someone’s personal ideals or political beliefs don’t match with the studio’s, then they could potentially lose out on a job. But this isn’t a bad thing. You can call it “Cancel Culture” or whatever, but it is something more. It shows that as a society we are maturing. No longer are hate speech and intolerance tolerated. People have the right to freedom of speech but they also have the right to freedom of consequences. People are being held accountable for what they say or do now. Disney is pushing forward towards a new frontier of acceptance that doesn’t have room for people who don’t get with the times. They are proving that change is possible and necessary.
You can catch Lightyear in theaters now.
Film Synopsis: While spending years attempting to return home, marooned Space Ranger Buzz Lightyear encounters an army of ruthless robots commanded by Zurg who are attempting to steal his fuel source.