Tim Allen Confirms He's Returning to Screen as Disney Brings Back Iconic Role
Editor’s Note: Our readers responded strongly to this story when it originally ran; we’re reposting it here in case you missed it.
Tim Taylor. Mike Baxter. Santa Claus.
Those have been some of the most iconic roles credited to renowned Hollywood actor and funnyman Tim Allen.
And yet some would argue that Allen’s most iconic role is one in which you don’t see his face — the role of intergalactic Space Ranger Buzz Lightyear.
That’s why so many fans and colleagues of Allen were appalled and confused when the conservative comedian didn’t land the role of Buzz Lightyear in the “Toy Story” spinoff movie “Lightyear.”
“Lightyear” tanked at the box office for a litany of reasons, including some questionable LGBT agenda shoehorning into the film’s plot. Another reason is assuredly the fact that “Captain America” actor Chris Evans took over the titular role of Buzz Lightyear.
While Evans’ performance was largely fine, it was still a far cry from the recognizable gravitas of Allen’s voice-over.
Whether because of the middling box office performance of “Lightyear” or general fan outcry, it appears that Disney will attempt to fix at least one mistake with its “Toy Story “cinematic universe by bringing back Allen to reprise the iconic role.
Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed during an earnings call Feb. 8 that a fifth entry in the beloved series is in the works.
While nothing is official, Allen all but confirmed his return as Buzz Lightyear with a cheeky tweet filled with “Toy Story” references.
“See ya soon Woody, you are a sad strange little man and you have my pity,” he tweeted, quoting one of Buzz Lightyear’s more infamous lines. “And off we go to a number 5! To infinity and beyond!”
See ya soon Woody, you are a sad strange little man and you have my pity. And off we go to a number 5! To infinity and beyond! pic.twitter.com/bwRzE487Vi
— Tim Allen (@ofctimallen) February 9, 2023
Of course, “To infinity and beyond” has been Buzz Lightyear’s catchphrase ever since he made his silver screen debut in 1995.
Many fans had presumed that Allen’s conservative leanings ultimately soured his relationship with the House of Mouse, but such talk largely evaporated when Allen reprised his role as Santa for the Disney+ series “The Santa Clauses.”
For Allen and his fans, this is undoubtedly a welcome return to form.
Aside from the aforementioned “The Santa Clauses,” the Hollywood star has largely been absent from the public eye, with his last acting role credited as Mike Baxter in the “Last Man Standing” sitcom. That show ended in late 2021.
For Disney, this will likely be a Band-Aid for a shotgun wound.
The media titan has been having a rough go of it as of late, announcing a slate of layoffs and restructuring as the company grapples with fiscal and subscription losses.
It’s not at all clear if the return of Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear will assuage any of these rampant concerns at Disney, but it’s a positive first step.
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