Tim Allen Confirms Buzz Lightyear Return in Toy Story 5

Toy Story infinity, and beyond! During a quarterly earnings call Wednesday, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced the studio is developing new sequels to some of its biggest animated franchises: Toy StoryFrozen, and Zootopia. Tim Allen, who voiced space ranger toy Buzz Lightyear in Pixar's first four Toy Story films between 1995 and 2019, then took to Twitter to confirm he'll reprise his iconic role in Toy Story 5 after Chris Evans played the "original" Buzz in last summer's spinoff Lightyear. (The Evans-voiced Buzz, a fictional movie action hero, inspired Allen's action figure version in the Toy Story universe.)

"See ya soon Woody, you are a sad strange little man and you have my pity," Allen tweeted, quoting a Buzz line from the original Toy Story. "And off we go to a number 5! To infinity and beyond!" 

Allen's comment suggests a homecoming with Woody (Tom Hanks), who reunited with the long-lost Bo Peep (Annie Potts) before saying goodbye to Bonnie's toys for a kids-less life on the road in Toy Story 4. Filmmakers called that film a "completion" of Buzz and Woody's arcs, but the space ranger and the sheriff have at least one more toy story to tell.

"Every film we make, we treat it like it's the first and the last film we're ever going to make," producer Mark Nielsen said during the Toy Story 4 press tour in 2019. "So you force yourself to make it hold up. You don't get in over your skis. Whether there's another one? I don't know. If there is, it's tomorrow's problem."

That same year, producer Jonas Rivera said it's possible Toy Story could continue with a focus on other toys after back-to-back closing chapters on Andy's original toys in Toy Story 3 and 4.

"I think Toy Story is such a great world, such great characters and there's so many new characters that I'd be remiss if I didn't say there was room for someone to crack that open. But that's not our goal," Rivera told Digital Spy. "I'm also programmed with the never-say-never, there could also be a million ways you could go." 4 introduced new characters like Forky (Tony Hale), Duke Caboom (Keanu Reeves), and the duo Ducky (Keegan-Michael Key) and Bunny (Jordan Peele).

While Toy Story 4 was billed as a franchise-ending final installment, Hanks said he "wouldn't be surprised" if the story continued in the future.

"Well, no one is planning on [Toy Story 5], but I wouldn't be surprised if somewhere two-and-a-half years from now someone has this kernel of an idea that could become it," Hanks told LAD Bible in 2019. "None of the Toy Story movies are in a schedule, they're not in a pipeline. They don't say, 'on this date, we'll start work on the next Toy Story movie'. They wait until someone comes up with a Toy Story idea that is worthwhile pursuing."

Hanks continued: "But I think it's better that no one is anticipating that; I think there is a strength in saying, 'this is as far as we've been able to go and we don't see anything else coming after that', because otherwise it ends up being some inorganic approach to something that has been very, very organic."

Disney has not yet set release dates for Zootopia 2, Frozen 3, or Toy Story 5.