Keanu Reeves Really Tried Not To Imitate Buzz Lightyear For Toy Story 4 Role

tom hank's woody and keanu reeve's duke caboom doing a motorcycle stunt jump in toy story 4
(Image credit: (Pixar))

We probably said this in 2010 about Toy Story 3, but this time, Toy Story 4 might really mark Buzz Lightyear's last appearance on screen, so we’d hate to see anyone stealing the thunder of the iconic toy voiced by Tim Allen. When Keanu Reeves came on board to play a new character named Duke Caboom on the upcoming film, there was some discussion regarding the similarities of their Pixar personas.

In Toy Story 4, Keanu Reeves plays "Canada’s favorite stuntman," a mustachioed motorcyclist who loves to show off his poses. When Duke Caboom was first pitched, both Tim Allen and Reeves sensed the two characters had some similarities. However, the John Wick actor assured that he had no intention of imitating the space cadet the role. Here’s what he recently told EW:

I wanted to make sure I didn’t do anything that would go into Tim Allen’s space as Buzz Lightyear. That was one thing I was really paying attention to when I was thinking about the character and how he would talk. So I made Duke a little more gravelly but still tried to give him energy and a big personality… I just thought that Duke should love what he does. He’s the greatest stuntman in Canada! I wanted him to be constantly doing poses on the bike while he was talking, to have this great extroverted passion.

The new character actually has a pretty tragic backstory! He’s advertised as an Evil Knievel-esque stuntman but he cannot actually perform what the commercials say he can do. Because of this, Duke Caboom let his kid down and has a fear of failure. In Toy Story 4, it looks like he will have an important role to play as Woody and Bo team up to rescue Forky and get back to Bonnie.

A new trailer for the film heavily features the Keanu Reeves’ Duke Caboom. See it for yourself:

I guess we’ll have to check out the movie if we want to see how Duke’s important motorcycle stunt pans out! The final trailer ahead of the movie’s release next month also features some more footage of the other new characters ,including Forky, who is central to the movie’s plot. Key and Peele’s Ducky and Bunny also deliver some funny moments to look forward in the film as well.

When a franchise such as this one has had many entries, it’s easy for some plot points and characters to start running together a bit, but Buzz Lightyear and Duke Caboom don’t look to be stepping on each others’ toes as far as we can see. Keanu Reeves found it important to give Duke a gruffer voice and inject some sensitivity and heart to him amidst his enthusiasm for motorcycle stunts.

Funny enough, the actor is actually Canadian and rides motorcycles of his own, so perhaps Duke is a bit of a character of himself in some ways.

Pixar recently said Toy Story 4 will be its last sequel for a while, so fans can look forward to more new characters from the story! The movie is expected to make a grand entrance when it opens on June 21, as tracking has its first weekend at as much as $130 million.

Keanu Reeves has just seen success with his latest John Wick film, which dethroned Avengers: Endgame at the box office over the weekend after reigning for almost a month at number one. It has also just been announced that John Wick 4 is in the works.

Are you excited to see Keanu Reeves Toy Story 4 character? Let us know in the comments below!

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.