It’s the definitive story behind Buzz Lightyear, the hero who inspired the beloved Toy Story character, and its set to win the hearts of Moviegoers this Summer. Disney and Pixar‘s LIGHTYEAR features the voice of Chris Evans and we were so thrilled to sit down in a Virtual Press Junket for the Film.
Participating at the Junket, which our Justin Waldman had the pleasure of attending, were:
Galyn Susman – Producer
Angus MacLane – Writer/Director
Michael Giacchino – Composer
Chris Evans – Buzz Lightyear
Keke Palmer – Izzy Hawthorne
Dale Soules – Darby Steel
Taika Waititi- Mo Morrison
James Brolin – Emperor Zurg
Peter Sohn – Sox
Angus MacLane who co-directed Finding Dory, talks about developing and pitching the idea of this Film.
MacLane: “The idea came to me because I always wanted to know about the backstory of the Space Rangers, Star Command and Buzz Lightyear – what the Movie is for that. I also wanted to make something that was fun to make after doing Dory, which was fun but it was really challenging when you have a protagonist that’s always forgetting everything about what they want. So I thought, why don’t we make a cool Sci-Fi Movie? That’s the way I pitched it. What’s the Movie that Andy (the boy in Toy Story) saw that made him want a Buzz Lightyear figure? Why don’t we just make something awesome, that’s simple like that? Just make that geeky Buzz Lightyear movie and just make an adventure of that? That was the simple idea we sold to the Studio.”.
Michael Giacchino oversaw the Film’s Score and talks about his childhood and what Disney films meant to him growing-up.
Giacchino: “These are the movies I grew-up on. I pretty much was raised on them. One of the things I used to do was sneak a small tape recorder into the theatre so that I could – when I was a kid – record the Movie Audio so that I could have the audience response – all of that on it – and I would listen to it. There was no internet when I was growing up. That was the only way for me to experience that Movie again out of the theatre, was to listen to it. I would record them and at home every night I would play them under my pillow because I loved to listen how the Sound works in these movies. And how Music worked with Sound Effects and Dialogue and all of that. It’s ingrained in my head in a massive way. If someone asked me at 12-years-old, ‘Hey! You get to make your own one of these things. What do you want to do with it?’. I’m like, ‘Great! I would do THIS!’. That’s what I love so much about working with Angus. Often we’d get sidelined into these crazy conversations about a Movie from a certain era or a Character Actor from certain era. We have so much love for what came before and what introduced us to everything we’re now playing with today.”.
StarChris Evans is asked about how he brought something new to a character we all love and adore so much already in Buzz Lightyear.
Evans: “I loved getting to explore a Character we all know so well and in a slightly more nuanced interpretation. The Buzz we all know is a toy and as a toy there are certain ways they go about the world without the weight that we carry. A toy knows its purpose, a toy doesn’t have to worry about disease or the choices that we have to make.”.
Evans also talks about his relationship with Buzz Lightyear before being cast in this Film, plus he reveals which other Disney Character he would love to play.
Evans: “I love Buzz Lightyear and Toy Story. When Toy Story came out, it kicked the doors down in terms of a new approach to the Medium, so I was thrilled and excited to know there was more to come. I love all the characters in Toy Story deeply. If there were another character to play, I don’t think I could pull it off. But I am a big an of Robin Hood, the old animated Disney Film. I just thought Robin Hood was so cool. When I think of all the Animated Characters in the Disney library, Robin Hood stands alone. He’s smooth, charming and capable, and I don’t have that cool British accent, but I’d love a crack!”.
Keke Palmer tells us about connecting to her Character, Izzy Hawthorne, discovering who she was and what she cared about most.
Palmer: “Her love for her grandmother Alisha, and the legacy she wants to uphold. She wants to make her family proud and I think that’s something we can all relate to. And the fact that she’s not afraid to pivot. I really admire that about her. I feel she displays so many great leadership qualities because sometimes she gets overshadowed. She knows how to push her friends forward, and she knows how to see something in somebody so that they can carry out their duties. She empowers others and I love the character.”.
Taika Waititi stars as Mo Morisson, who is more understated than some of the other characters he’s played in his career. He has made Marvel films as we all know, but he talks about how he approaches Pixar films differently.
Waititi: “I think with Pixar especially, it’s the relentless pursuit of a perfect Story. I go back to them time and time again not just for entertainment or to feel something emotional, but I got back to study how they structure their Films and the Economy of Storytelling, the way that they write their Scripts. And knowingly, they just get it right every time. So I’m not afraid to rip-off those practices that they use, because it’s inspiring as a Filmmaker to see these guys make these perfect films every time.”.
Screen LegendJames Brolin talks about that resonated most with him with the Film.
Brolin: “I walked in, didn’t know who I am or what my lines were, so that was a tough one. I saw an unfinished, unpolished version of the Film without Music, and actually realized then that my Character was much more complex than that I had imagined. Even at this point I’m not supposed to tell you everything that Zurg is. Certainly multiple personalities and a Con Man. And could I say even a Shrink and an Alter-Ego? There’s so many things to learn from this Movie. There’s a lot of messages about how we approach things and how we solve our problems, and how we avoid them.”.
Peter Sohn talks about Sox the Cat‘s scene-stealing performance hereand if he foresees a Spinoff.
Sohn: “I don’t want any of that burden! What are you talking about? The curse of that burden. I love Sox and I’ve been real lucky hanging-out with all of you right now, doing this process has been awesome.”.
Dale Soules talks about her thoughts on a potential Spinoff for Darby Steel.
Soules: “I’d like to see more Darby and Sox and their own adventure. I love Sox, though you don’t see that part of her very much. There’s an expression on the face of the animated Darby when Buzz thanks her and says ‘Nice job, elderly convict’. There’s a look on her face that says what I’d like to see more of. It’s not sentimental, mushy but it’s more like, ‘Okay, I gotcha. I hear you.’. I’d like to see more of that attitude in the Series.”.
Disney and Pixar’s LIGHTYEAR arrives in theatres June 17, 2022.
Those of you who saw 2020’s Slavery Horror Antebellum, saw a nightmare realized right at the end as Janelle Monae‘s Veronica Henley escapes what she realizes was a Civil War re-enactment park where she was held captive as a slave. Writer/Director Krystin Ver Linden‘s directorial debut ALICE debuts at Sundance and was actually in development before Antebellum saw its release, though this Film begins where the imagined Antebellum, ends if you need a point of reference.
Ver Linden, who has worked with the likes of Quentin Tarantino, based this story on true accounts from actual people who remained enslaved after slavery had been abolished in 1865. This story centers on Alice (Keke Palmer), who has born into a life a slavery and this is all she has ever known. She serves the owner of her plantation, Paul (Jonny Lee Miller). That is until she begins to rebel and after getting into a violent fight with him, escapes successfully, only to realize it’s 1973 in Georgia and there’s an entire world out there she’s never seen. She gets the help of an Activist named Frank (Common) and left to her own devices, she finds out the truth about who she is and the life she was subject to. Alice makes it a mission to free all those others she left behind who were enslaved at the plantation.
Taking a cue from the groundbreaking Blaxpolitation films of the mid-’70s, paying direct homage in particular to the great Pam Grier, the Film takes a sharp tonal shift in its second-half, becoming a Revenge Thriller. We take no issue with the message which ALICE is conveying. It is cathartic and a platform for a new generation to benefit from learning about the gross injustices that shaped the African-American identity. We found the Film, though an admirable debut effort showcasing an all-in performance by Palmer, could have used a bit more detail, nuance and a more balanced pacing allocated to Alice‘s transformation. We found her progression a tad rushed and the Final Act unfolds all too quickly.
ALICE will see a theatrical release March 18, 2022 via Roadside Attractions, and can be seen at Sundance as follows:
JAN. 23 8:15PM EST Available Until Jan. 23 11:15PM EST
SECOND SCREENING JAN. 24 10:00AM EST Available Until Jan. 27 10:00AM EST
Keke Palmer (Hustlers) has signed-on to host and executive produce Disney+ Reality Food Competition, FOODTASTIC! Palmer will host alongside judges Chef Benny Rivera of NYC’s City Cakes and FLOUR SHOP‘s Amirah Kassem. The Series is 11 episodes long and arrives December 15, 2021 on Disney+.
In each self-contained episode, three teams of food artists transform iconic characters into extravagant masterpieces that tell a story from Disney‘s legendary IP. These food sculptures will be judged purely on their design, technical skills and narrative, and not by taste. Unused food from each competition will be donated to local food banks.
Also a joy chatting again with CP24‘s Kelly Linehan this morning! Thanks for tuning-in!
Informative and fun segment Will!! We’re on Festival Street tonight and off to a film tomorrow. Hope to see you around town Handsome! You’re always in the heart of all the media excitement. pic.twitter.com/SIZEnlLlxL
We can’t wait for this! J-Lo slays it in this new Trailer for HUSTLERS. But you won’t believe this powerful Supporting Cast! LIZZO! CARDI B! CONSTANCE WU! JULIA STILES! LILI REINHART!We’re hearing whispers of a TIFF ’19 Premiere? We’ll see!
Inspired by the viral New York Magazine article “The Hustlers at Scores,” Hustlers follows a crew of savvy strip club employees who band together to turn the tables on their Wall Street clients.
We meet experienced exotic dancer Ramona (Jennifer Lopez), and newcomer Destiny (Constance Wu), who learns from Ramona the art of pole dancing. She also learns that the group of strippers she’s become a part of not only dance, but hustle their way into the pockets of their wealthy clients.
See the Trailer:
Elevation Pictures release HUSTLERS this September!
Known affectionately as the MMVAs, the iHeartRadio MuchMusic Video Awards took place in Toronto this weekend, honouring the best and hottest Music Videos. Co-hosting this year were Brampton’s own Alessia Cara and Joe Jonas, the latter who has appeared on multiple occasions dating back to his days with his fraternal trio.
In town for the occasion were a litany of talent including performers Imagine Dragons, Arkells, Camila Cabello (formerly of Fifth Harmony), Julia Michaels, Iggy Azalea, Jessie Reyez, Lorde, Post Malone, DNCE (Jonas’ new band) and Niall Horan (formerly of One Direction).
Presenting awards this year are a who’s-who of television among the intended target audience of the awards show including KJ Apa (Riverdale), Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black), Brandon Flynn (13 Reasons Why), Keke Palmer (Scream Queens), Dove Cameron, Lilly Singh, Nikka Bella, Darren Criss (Glee), Kat Graham (Vampire Diaries), Shay Mitchell (Pretty Little Liars), Carly Rae Jepsen, Bea Miller and supermodel Martha Hunt.
Shutting down a portion of Queen Street at the famed Bell Media headquarters, fans lined the streets and braved the rain for the Red Carpet. The evening’s biggest winners included: A Tribe Called Red ft. Yasiin Bey, Black Bear and Narcy – R.E.D. for Video of the Year, Shawn Mendes – Mercy for Best Pop Video and iHeartRadio International Artist of the Year went to Lorde.
Most Buzzworthy Canadian Artist was awarded to Drake, who beat out Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes, The Weeknd and Alessia Cara.
We spotted some of the stars of the 2017 iHeartRadio MuchMusic Video Awards around town this weekend. Check out our Snaps!