Now that Chris Evans has been cast as Buzz Lightyear in the upcoming Pixar film, who would best suit the characters in a live action Toy Story? Here are our picks for the cast list!

Written by: Hope Burley – November 9th, 2021 3:19 pm pst

Cast for Live Action Toy Story

Credit: Lightyear, Pixar Animation Studios, Walt Disney Pictures

So, the official trailer for the new Lightyear film has dropped, and we got a look at a new actor behind the beloved character. Most people recognize the name Buzz Lightyear, voiced by Tim Allen, from the Toy Story film series. However, in the upcoming prequel film, the character “Buzz Lightyear” will be portrayed by Chris Evans, focusing on the fictional hero who inspired the toy in the Toy Story series. 

So, now that we have gotten into the mindset of recasting characters we know so well, human or toy, what would a live action Toy Story look like? There’s already going to be a live-action Barbie movie, so why not Toy Story? Here are our thoughts in terms of re-casting these iconic characters!

Sheriff Woody

Oh, Woody, whatever would we do without you! This iconic character was originally voiced by Tom Hanks, and although this live action is all about new faces taking on beloved characters, it’s always good to keep it in the family! Just a small step away from Tom is his son, Colin. Now, this may feel like a cop-out to some as this is simply the younger version of Tom Hanks, but there is no arguing that Colin would play this role perfectly. Obviously, the voice would be spot on, but Colin truly looks the part of Woody as well. 

Steering away from that familiarity of the Hanks family, another actor that would be a great fit for this role is Dev Patel. Now Dev has a lot of dramatic film experience under his belt, with films like Life of Pi and Slumdog Millionaire, so we would love to see him in a more lighthearted film like Toy Story. He does a great job with storytelling and emotion, which is really the backbone of this film. Although a live action version of Toy Story might sound absurd or comical to many people, it’s actors like Dev who would turn it into something truly special. He would make a great choice for this role, and perhaps one people wouldn’t expect, which would only make the film that much more entertaining as an audience member. 

Buzz Lightyear

Now because Chris Evans was recently cast in the film Lightyear, we feel he must be mentioned in this article. Although he is playing the human and not the toy in the upcoming prequel, Chris would still take the character to a new level in this live action film. 

However, if Chris wasn’t cast as Buzz in the new Pixar film, we have another actor in mind. That would be none other than our favorite “London Boy” Idris Elba. Idris Elba has been seen in dozens of films and tv shows, including The Wire, Luther, Suicide Squad, and even played Nelson Mandela in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. There’s no doubt Idris would bring a unique take to this role, and we would love to see him work alongside Colin Hanks. Does anyone have his agent’s number?


Jessie is one of the most important roles in this film series, and there are hundreds of talented actresses who could nail this part. One actress who we can’t get out of our minds for this role is Amandla Stenberg. The Hate U Give star has given some very powerful performances, which would be perfect for that “When She Loved Me” scene. Stenberg is only 23, so with older actors like Colin Hanks and Chris Evans playing Buzz and Woody, this casting choice might be a little too inappropriate. However, Amandla is a star we can see taking on some major roles in Hollywood very soon. 

Of course, more age-appropriate redheads like Amy Adams, Jessica Chastain, and Isla Fisher come to mind for this role as well. One redhead that would be perfect for Jessie, though, is Emma Stone. She has the perfect acting style and looks for this role, and we can totally see her pulling off the accent. We’ve seen her take on dynamic roles like this one, with a little bit of comedy mixed in with drama, just think of La La Land. This is a character that would be right up Stone’s alley, and we’d love to see her take it on. 

Little Bo-Peep

Little Bo-Peep is one of the most important female toys in the series and who better to play her than Anya Taylor-Joy? The Golden Globe-winning actress has starred in dramas such as The Queen’s Gambit and Split, so we would love to see her in a light-hearted role like this one. Anya would make a perfect Bo-Peep, and we know she’d rock that outfit. 


Rex is one of the harder characters to cast here, but something about this character makes us think a comedian would be the perfect casting choice. While the world of comedy is filled with talented individuals, Kevin Jeong stands out above them all. Not only would he nail Rex’s voice and personality, but he would give the character that comedic edge to make the film that much more entertaining for an older audience. Kevin has years of acting behind him, including The Hangover series, Dr. Ken, Community, and more. 


Jon Hamm. There’s no other answer for this character, and yes most of it is because of the name. However, Jon Hamm is a great comedic actor, with a stacked resume including Mad Men, Baby Driver, Shrek, Black Mirror, and more. We know he would kill this part, plus, how can you not pick him! His name is confirmation enough that he was born to do this.  


The Aliens are a small but mighty part of the Toy Story world, so this trio is still one that needs to be cast just right. So here’s what we’re thinking… gathering up our favorite group of SNL stars,  Kenan Thompson, Bowen Yang, and Melissa Villaseñor. Not only is this group carrying SNL’s recent seasons on their backs, but they would make a great trio. Kenan has been at this his whole life, and we have no doubt that he would kill this role. Honestly, he could be a perfect fit for several other roles in this lineup, like Hamm, as well. Melissa and Bowen are both severely underrated SNL cast members that deserve their big moment in the spotlight. Now, playing the Aliens might not be exactly their idea of a “big moment” but regardless, it would be a huge win for Pixar. 

Slinky Dog

Slinky Dog has a very specific presence in the Toy Story series, being the older and more mature toy who is constantly showing his support for Woody. Now, someone that comes to mind right away when we think of Slinky Dog’s voice is Nick Offerman. The Parks and Rec actor would be the perfect casting choice for Slinky Dog, as he’s played similar personalities in his previous work, and of course, has the voice we are looking for. Offerman is an underrated star when it comes to Hollywood, and we know he would be a standout in this hypothetical live action!

Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head

It’s been said before that Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish would be a hilarious Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head and we couldn’t agree more! This pair is more than just your average comedic duo, they are the comedic duo! Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head are such important pieces of the Toy Story series, and we can’t picture a better fit for them in this hypothetical live action version. Both of these celebs have a long track record of successful comedy behind them, and since the Potato Heads are a vital piece of the comic relief in this series, there’s no other option than to cast these two!

Barbie & Ken

Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling have been rumored to star in the Barbie live action film, so it’s only right to cast these two in Toy Story as well!  There’s no arguing these Hollywood heartthrobs look like the perfect fit for the classic toy couple, so we can’t wait to see what chemistry they bring to the screen! Barbie and Ken help up the comedic end of the later Toy Story films, so we’re counting on these well-established actors to do the same!

Andy’s Mom

Is it just us, or does Andy’s mom look just like Brie Larson? Although she isn’t the main focus of the film, Andy’s mom is a vital character that must be played just right. Brie has made a name for herself in various films from Captain Marvel to Room, so playing Andy’s mom would be a walk in the park for her!


Now, there’s no arguing that Dylan O’Brien with a shaved head could smash the role of Sid in the live action Toy Story. However, since Sid is supposed to be 11 years old, we had to think about a more age-appropriate choice. After some thinking, Jack Dylan Grazer came to mind. Now, the actor is 18, but who’s to say this live-action wouldn’t take place a few years down the line? After all, Andy is 17 in the 4th Toy Story film, so let’s stick with that. Jack is most known for his work in the IT film series, portraying a young Eddie in the film adaptation of Stephen King’s novels. Picture him with a buzzcut and a skull t-shirt and it works, right? Will Poulter has been compared to Sid in prior years and even dressed up as him for Halloween, but we stand firm with this choice! 


Andy is arguably the hardest character to cast in this live action, and the main factor here is age. In the original film Andy is around 6 years old, so finding actors who are in this age range is quite difficult. Similar to Sid, the actor we have chosen is not exactly the age range we were thinking of. So, for casting purposes, let’s have this live action take place in the same time frame as the 4th film. Now that that’s settled, the actor we would love to see take on the role is Griffin Gluck. You may know him from Red Band Society, or films like Tall Girl and Big Time Adolescence. Gluck is a well-established actor, however, a role like Andy could really bring him the attention he deserves! Not only is he young enough, and he looks the part, but he has the acting skills to prove he could make this role his own. 

So, there it is! Now, a live action Toy Story would truly require intense CGI and many of these characters would not be on-screen as much as others, however, this lineup would make a great cast for a remake of the film series. Has anyone gotten in touch with Pixar yet? We’ve got your next big hit!

About The Author:

Hope Burley is a senior at Penn State University studying Telecommunications with a focus in television production.

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