The actor, who is starring in the Baz Luhrmann-directed biopic Elvis, has sparked headlines after weighing in on Allen's absence from Disney and Pixar's Lightyear, the origin story for Toy Story's Buzz Lightyear. The animated film, which hit theaters in June, instead stars Chris Evans as the voice of the titular character.
"I wanted to go head to head with Tim Allen," Hanks told CinemaBlend when asked about Elvis and Lightyear being in theaters at the same time. "They didn’t let Tim Allen do it. I don’t understand that."
Still, Hanks, who worked with Allen on four Toy Story films, didn't elaborate before shifting focus to people returning to movie theaters. "Just as long as people come back to the motion picture theater," he said. "I want to go back into the theater with a bunch of strangers and leave with something in common. That’s what I want to do."
And if there are any fans heading into the theater confused over why Allen isn't resuming his signature role, the new casting comes down to logistics for the character. While Allen is the voice of Buzz Lightyear, the toy, Evans is the voice of Buzz Lightyear, the cinematic astronaut that the toy is based off of in the Toy Story universe.
“Tim really is the embodiment of the toy Buzz, and this isn’t the toy world, so it really doesn’t make sense," producer Galyn Susman previously explained to The Hollywood Reporter. "There’s not really a role. It would just cause more confusion for audiences instead of helping them understand the movie we’re trying to tell.”
Still, the connection between the two incarnations is not lost on Evans. “This is the character that the toy is based off of," Evans previously told ET. "You can't, kind of, make pure, fresh tracks in the show. You have to acknowledge that."