Everybody Loves Raymond star Patricia Heaton — who played Debra, Ray Romano’s sitcom wife, for 209 episodes of the hit series — has spoken out against The Walt Disney Company’s recasting of Tim Allen in Pixar Animation Studios’ upcoming movie, Lightyear.
Alongside Tom Hanks (Woody the Cowboy), Allen voiced Andy’s space ranger toy from 1995 to 2019 in Pixar’s Toy Story franchise.
The movie will follow the story of the “actual” — at least in the Toy Story universe (and maybe the Star Wars galaxy, for that matter) — astronaut who inspired Andy’s beloved space ranger in Toy Story (1995), Toy Story 2 (1999), Toy Story 3 (2010), and Toy Story 4 (2019).
The has already garnered its fair share of controversy — from Evans’s “Photoshopped” promo photos at Disneyland Resort’s Disney California Adventure Park to the first animated same-sex kiss in Disney history, Lightyear is set to make waves.
Now, Heaton has made her stance on Allen being axed clear on social media:
Saw the trailer for Buzz Lightyear and all I can say is Disney/Pixar made a HUGE mistake in not casting my pal Tim Allen in the role that he originated, the role that he owns. Tim IS Buzz! Why would they completely castrate this iconic, beloved character?
Ok so the current Buzz Lightyear movie is an origin story – but the reason the character became so beloved is because of what @ofctimallen created. Why remove the one element that makes us want to see it?#stupidHollywooddecisions https://t.co/bRn1lZgkac
— Patricia Heaton (@PatriciaHeaton) June 14, 2022
Heaton’s followers were divided, with some leaving comments like, “I was dying to bring my 6 year old this, as I LOVE Buzz Lightyear, but after learning @ofctimallen, THE STAR of the hit, isn’t it- I’m going to pass!”
Others, however, dissented, noting, “Why would Tim be in it? Different character. Second, your kid will know Chris Evans. Tim Allen? Not so much.”
Regardless of which side of the aisle you fall on in regard to the voice of Buzz Lightyear being changed, the film is slated to hit theaters nationwide in the U.S. on June 17, 2022.
Allen, for his part, is set to return to The Walt Disney Company in The Clauses, a Disney+ Original series based on The Santa Clause movie franchise.
More on Lightyear (2022)
The official description of Angus MacLane’s upcoming space ranger movie reads:
From Disney and Pixar comes an animated sci-fi action-adventure — the definitive origin story of Buzz Lightyear (voice of Chris Evans), the hero who inspired the toy. “Lightyear” follows the legendary space ranger on an intergalactic adventure alongside ambitious recruits, Izzy, Mo and Darby, and his robot companion Sox. As this motley crew embark on their toughest mission yet, they must learn to work as a team to escape the evil Zurg and his dutiful robot army who are never far behind.
Are you a fan of Chris Evans replacing Tim Allen?