You’d have thought that news of Chris Evans starring in a Toy Story spinoff would have gone down a treat with fans of both the actor and the franchise, but last year’s announcement that Lightyear was coming to theaters in June 2022 received a rather mixed response.
You can understand both sides of the argument; Toy Story is comfortably one of the greatest multi-film stories in cinema history, with the worst-reviewed installment still boasting a Rotten Tomatoes score of 97%. Then again, when you factor in $3 billion at the box office and the additional revenue streams that keep the money rolling in, Disney’s position on developing new adventures becomes clearer.
To differentiate itself from the quartet of Pixar classics, Lightyear exists independently of the Toy Story timeline, taking place in a fictional universe where Star Command is real, with Evans’ young Buzz rising up the ranks. With only nine months to go until release, it looks as though we could be seeing a trailer very soon, as you can see in the tweet below that originally came from animator Daniel Gonzales.
The fact Gonzales’ initial post was deleted shortly afterwards only lends more credence to the speculation, and it could be one way of convincing audiences to check out Encanto on the big screen, with the musical fantasy marking Disney Animation’s first exclusive theatrical release since before the pandemic. People love Toy Story, and have done for over a quarter of a century, so a Lightyear trailer playing before the studio’s latest could turn out to be a stroke of marketing genius.