Former Tool Time host, GalaxyQuest captain, and inheritor of the Santa Claus mantle Tim Allen opens up about being replaced.
Pixar’s newest animated film, Lightyear, was a hopeful summer blockbuster that ended up being a bust. There are many reasons people around the industry believe it failed. Experts point to everything from the convoluted movie within a movie approach to the overtired reboots of Hollywood. Either way, it just couldn’t find its footing among audiences. Then there is the controversy. The political climate in the country doesn’t allow hardly anything to be presented to viewers without some kind of message. A controversial scene involving an LGBTQ kiss was too much for the conservative right. Then there was the recast of fan-favorite Tim Allen to Disney hero Chris Evans. While fans were shocked to hear about it, it took a long time for Allen to respond.
Tim Allen sat down with Extra to give his reaction to the movie and the recast. He starts by saying he stayed out of it because the stories don’t have anything to do with each other. The former Buzz Lightyear revealed that he commented years before about how fun this movie would be. He thought of the concept to focus on the movie Andy saw that popularized the toy. Allen confesses that he thought they were doing a live-action film, not an animated one.
He continued to talk about the teams that created the first four movies were not involved, and this was a completely new group. He seemed unbothered by the recasting in the interview, claiming that while it was a great story, it didn’t seem to have any connection to the toy. Tim Allen then remarked that there is no Toy Story Buzz Lightyear without his cohort, Woody.
Tim Allen doesn’t always stay silent for an extended amount of time. When his series, Last Man Standing, was canceled by ABC after six seasons, he tweeted out his surprise. He said he was “stunned and surprised” by the news. His supporters began to speculate that the reasons were political retribution for his conservative views. Those ideas bled into the Lightyear recast, assuming that Disney was doubling down on their inclusionary views by taking the opportunity to separate themselves from the conservative actor. Allen’s new comments seem to contradict that theory, as the character wasn’t the same as the toy but the inspiration for it.
After the controversy went so far as to cause some theaters to cancel their showings, it is refreshing to see Tim Allen respond to the recast without anger. Chris Evans was so frustrated at the controversy that he called the film’s critics idiots for making the LGBTQ kiss a controversy. While all of that has undoubtedly grounded the Space Ranger, other reviews stuck to the movie and displayed their dislike for it.
Harry Khachatrian of the Washington Examiner tells his readers to forget about the film’s controversy, because according to him, it is simply a bad movie. He details the character flaws, such as his maverick attitude and aversion to sidekicks (consistent with Buzz the toy). His issue is that he wasn’t a skilled ranger as a balance. This made it difficult to believe this was the character that inspired Andy in Toy Story. Tim Allen may have been recast, much to the fan’s chagrin, but he may have dodged a bullet.