This afternoon, NASA’s 2,200 pound Perseverance rover completed its mission to Mars after launching from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on July 30, 2020. Following its 300-million-mile journey through space, the rover will explore signs of past or present life on Mars’ Jezero Crater, a region of the planet that is believed to once contain rivers. It’s a momentous moment for NASA and the star of Pixar’s upcoming Lightyear movie, Chris Evans, is following along closely.
Soon after NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover Twitter account announced it was safe and sound on the Red Planet, Chris Evans couldn’t help but gush about the occasion. It looks like the actor is already fitting into those Buzz Lightyear boots:
Chris Evans is totally into space travel, because of course! The actor retweeted a number of videos from NASA as well documenting Perseverance’s landing on Thursday. It’s a solid reminder of how much we can’t wait to see the actor take on Pixar’s famed space ranger in Lightyear, set to come out in 2022.
The animated project was announced back in December during Walt Disney Studios massive investor presentation. There are few details known about the movie itself, but Lightyear is expected to explore an actual astronaut named Buzz Lightyear rather than the action toy that Tim Allen played for the Toy Story movies. It sounds like it will be somewhat of a prequel for the character as it follows a young test pilot on his journey to become a space ranger.
It’s an exciting role for Chris Evans, who is already a Disney fan, especially following his exit from the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Captain America’s heartfelt conclusion (for now, at least). His Marvel brothers Tom Holland and Chris Pratt similarly went the Pixar route with Onward, an imaginative fantasy flick that hit theaters last year. Pixar is clearly smitten with Marvel talent and nabbing them for voice roles.
Lightyear will undoubtedly give us a better feel for what Buzz Lightyear means when he says “to infinity and beyond,” and that means Chris Evans’ character will be venturing to the far reaches of space. Considering the long process it takes to make a Pixar movie, Evans could already be in the recording booth running lines for Buzz in between checking on the Perseverance. Lightyear is already just a little over a year away!
Evans said he was concerned about stepping on Tim Allen’s role when he was approached about the movie initially, but when he heard the pitch, he said he “didn’t stop smiling,” and he’s assured fans to get very excited about his animated project. Aside from Lightyear, Evans is filming Don’t Look Up with Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio, and is expected to play a villain with Ryan Gosling in The Gray Man.
Lightyear is expected to hit theaters on June 17, 2022. We’ll be curious to see how this movie shakes out and if it will inspire more reimaginings of Pixar characters.