Hollywood superstar Tom Hanks spoke out recently about his friend Tim Allen losing his role as the voice of Buzz Lightyear in the new Pixar "Lightyear" movie.
What is the background?
Actor Chris Evans voiced the iconic character in the film despite Allen voicing Buzz Lightyear in every previous installment of the "Toy Story" franchise.
Director Angus MacLane explained the character change was necessary because the Buzz Lightyear character needed to be less "goofy."
"Tim’s version of Buzz is a little goofier and is a little dumber, and so he is the comic relief," MacLane told Vanity Fair.
"In this film, Buzz is the action hero. He’s serious and ambitious and funny, but not in a goofy way that would undercut the drama," he added. "Chris Evans has the gravitas and that movie-star quality that our character needed to separate him and the movie from Tim’s version of the toy in Toy Story."
What did Allen say?
Speaking in a recent interview promoting his new movie "Elvis," Hanks was asked what he thought about Allen losing his role. The question is personal for Hanks, who voices Woody, the other leading "Toy Story" character.
Hanks responded that he does not understand why Allen was not cast for one of his signature roles.
"Is it gonna be strange to be in theater's opposite of the Buzz Lightyear film?" a reporter asked Hanks.
"How about that?" Hanks replied. "Why it’s not— I actually, I wanted to go head to head with Tim Allen and they didn’t let Tim Allen do it. I don’t, I don’t understand that."
Hanks then changed the subject when the journalist interviewing him mentioned that Evans is voicing Buzz in "Lightyear."
"Yeah, yeah, I know," Hanks shot back. "But here here’s the thing: Just as long as people come back to the motion-picture theater. I want to go back into the theater with a bunch of strangers and leave with something in common. That’s what I want to do."
"Going to see a movie with him — I’m looking forward to that," he added, though it's not clear to whom Hanks was referring.
Allen recently addressed the situation, explaining why he has remained "silent" on not receiving the role.
"The short answer is I’ve stayed out of this ’cause it has nothing to do [with my Buzz Lightyear]," Allen said. "This is a whole new team that really had nothing to do with the first movies."
Allen also disclosed that he originally thought "Lightyear" would be a live-action movie but was surprised to learn it is an animated film. He also knocked the film for not including Woody.
"It just doesn’t seem to have any connection to the toy," Allen said of the new movie. "There's really no 'Toy Story,' Buzz without Woody."