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Director Lightyear Doesn’t Believe Spin-Offs Are the Future of Pixar

These days, it seems like everything is a spin of a wheel. It doesn’t matter what franchise you’re in, or what platform you’re based on, every character in every story seems poised to headline their own movie or TV show – and indeed It’s not hard to see why, when entertainment dynasties like Marvel Studios and Star Wars are dominating online viewership and box office revenue globally, even though not every major spin-off has to be related. superhero or Jedi.

This weekend, Pixar’s newest production (and their first trip back to theaters since 2020), Lightyear, spins out of their beloved Classic Toy Story, re-watch the film that Andy watched in 1995 to inspire him to buy Buzz Toy Lightyear. And this is a far cry from Pixar’s first failure with sequels and indirect spinoffs. Movies like Finding Dory and The Plane (though not technically under the Pixar banner) have all taken a step forward in evolving their respective narrative universes by introducing new angles. of the world or rotate the supporting characters into the hero position. It won’t be too far away to see a pattern begin to emerge with Pixar’s future tied to its past breakout successes – but according to Lightyear director and co-writer Angus MacLane, that’s probably not the case. . not a great idea.

Despite his experience working on both Lightyear and Finding Dory, MacLane doesn’t believe spin-offs are the studio’s future, and they’re not projects he’d recommend to upcoming directors. “I really don’t recommend it,” MacLane told GameSpot, “It’s so, so hard.”

Lightyear producer Galyn Susman insists it’s only a good idea under the right conditions. “I would only do it if you have a deep passion for that character because it’s really challenging.”

MacLane continued, “As a filmmaker, you really have to think about the problems you want to solve. When working on this project, we ran into the problem of having to change a minor character. to be the main character and that’s a really hard thing to do [Finding Dory], that is extremely difficult. But because Buzz’s backstory is what I wanted to tell, and because I wanted to do a simple sci-fi action adventure, you know, like a nerd/geeky movie, that’s who controls there. So that’s what keeps it going, even if we haven’t figured it out yet. Because I know how the movie will feel when it’s done. “

And challenges are not always narrative in nature, sometimes they depend on audience expectations. MacLane explains, “I think it’s funny to hear people ask things like ‘how does this compare to Toy Story?’ because when you see the movie, you realize it’s its own thing, and you don’t really think about it when you watch the movie but until then, there’s a lot [room for comparison.]”According to MacLane, that’s what you have to anticipate when making a movie like this.” And I really understand that. I think it would be even harder if Toy Story Buzz made it into a movie, you know? Then you’ll be like ‘Where is Woody?!’ Because that’s what makes [Toy Story Buzz] Work. I can see another version of this movie that might be a little closer to the Buzz Lightyear: Star Command TV show, that’s a little easier to understand, but I think that would be much more effective for the setting. shorter form. For one feature, you’re living the emotions of those characters. “

Of course, it can’t be said that the Pixar productions will never happen again – while no announcements are currently being made, with 26 feature films under their banner, Pixar certainly has a separate categories suitable for mining. It all comes down to, in MacLane’s view, choosing the right project for the right reasons.

Lightyear is currently showing in theaters.

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