‘Lightyear’ director explains how he brought depth to Buzz

Buzz Lightyear
Image via Disney/Pixar

The much-anticipated Pixar flick Lightyear is set to soar into theaters this summer, and ahead of its glaring premiere, filmmaker Angus MacLane has revealed that Buzz was in major need of character depth. Unlike Buzz Lightyear’s presence in the legendary Toy Story saga, this upcoming animation feature looks to provide an origin story for the beloved Space Ranger superhero beyond the “caricature” he was at the beginning of the first film.

While speaking with Entertainment Weekly, the Lightyear director discussed the significance of providing depth to the character of Buzz Lightyear — who takes on a more real and humanistic approach in this film — while explaining that adding the necessary dimensions to Buzz’s character was an important step to take.

If you just follow Buzz Lightyear the Space Ranger — the character before he meets the toys and start to change — it’s a pretty thin, two-dimensional character. It’s a caricature of the sci-fi lore that I grew up with and enjoyed, and that was kind of the point. So we knew we needed to come up with some way to dimensionalize that character. We’d get really sick of the character if he had no depth to him, or if he was just like, ‘Here I come to save the day!’ That kind of daring, unflappable superhero character would be easy to dismiss.

Of course, Chris Evans is undoubtedly the piece of the puzzle when it comes to exploring Buzz’s incredible depth — and producer Galyn Susman has already expressed that Evans brings a one-of-a-kind “enthusiasm” to the role.

Lightyear is out in theaters on June 17.