Disney Fires Lightyear Director After Chris Evans’ $226.7M Toy Story Spinoff Bombed at Box-Office Amidst ‘Too Woke’ Criticism

Disney Fires Lightyear Director After Chris Evans' $226.7M Toy Story Spinoff Bombed at Box-Office Amidst 'Too Woke' Criticism

Disney is a name that resonates among individuals of all age groups, as the company has captured the hearts of people with its iconic animation style, memorable characters, and gripping storyline that has kept its viewers at the edge of their seats for decades. The company tends to evoke a sense of nostalgia among its fans, as films and the characters such as Mickey Mouse, Simba, Aladdin, Lightning McQueen, and many more have a special place in our hearts. This never-ending connection between the studio and the fans has made the company relevant even after almost 100 years in the business.

Tom Hanks as Woody and Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear
Woody and Buzz Lightyear

However, the centennial anniversary will not be memorable for some of the Disney staff members, as the company is laying off its employees. Among the layoffs is the Lightyear director, Angus MacLane. Lightyear was a box office disaster, collecting only $226.7 million worldwide which is quite low, considering it to be a film from Pixar Studios.

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Financial Issues Made Disney Lay Off Its Employees

After the horrendous brief tenure of Bob Chapek as the CEO of Disney, the company was left in financial ruin. As a result, Bob Iger’s retirement as the CEO of the company was cut short, as he had to retake the position from his successor, even though Chapek was not Iger’s ideal choice to replace him in the first place.

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Bob Iger, the CEO of Disney
Bob Iger

To add to the problem of the production company, Disney+ could not bring in the financial benefits that they hoped the OTT platform would. The problems rose for them when they chose to create content for the streaming platform, rather than the silver screens. The problems kept doubling as Strange World and Lightyear made Disney struggle for air.

As a result of these catastrophic failures, Disney is looking for ways to cut costs, and firing Angus MacLane and Galyn Susman was a result of that. Even though Disney is on its knees, the company is producing Toy Story 5, which is supposed to act as the company’s savior.

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How Did The Failure of Lightyear Add To Disney’s Problem

Buzz Lightyear is one of the most popular characters from the Toy Story franchise. The space ranger had a larger-than-life personality and his comedic timing with some small moments of naivety in the film is immensely entertaining to the audience. As a result, Disney thought that it will be a good idea to create a spin-off film about the beloved character, but certain choices were the reasons that doomed the film. In the original series, Tim Allen voiced Buzz Lightyear, but for the spinoff film, the producers thought that it would be a good idea to replace Allen with Chris Evans.

Disney's Lightyear
A still from Lightyear

As per a report shared exclusively by Deadline, Lightyear cost Disney a massive $373 million to make. However, their hefty investment in the film was in vain, as the film managed to gross only $226.4 million worldwide at the box office, earning a little over the production cost of $200 million. It had later been revealed that the company faced a loss of $106 million after the release of Lightyear.

A still from Lightyear
A still from Lightyear

Despite the popularity of Chris Evans, and Buzz Lightyear being a loveable character of the franchise, viewers hated the film, as some fans felt that the origin story of the Space Ranger was quite unnecessary. Angus MacLane, the director of the film stated that he wanted to bring in a change between the two films, as Tim Allen’s character was a “comic relief,” but Evans’ character is meant to be an “action hero.” However, viewers were not happy with the change, as the film was bombarded with negative viewers from its viewers.

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Lightyear can be streamed on Disney+.

Source: Reuters

Written by Tushar Auddy

A voracious reader and a wordsmith at heart. Tushar is a student of Linguistics, who's always on the lookout for a good book or a captivating story. He has a passion for literature that runs deep and loves nothing more than getting lost in a novel for hours on end. When he isn't reading, you'll find him scribbling down his thoughts and musings, always eager to capture the beauty of language.