EXCLUSIVE: ‘Lightyear’ Creatives Reveal Keke Palmer and Taika Waititi Almost Played Siblings

Pixar’s Lightyear has spent years in development. As a result, it went through quite a few changes from its original conception to its eventual release. In an exclusive interview with Murphy’s Multiverse, some of the film’s lead creatives revealed that two of the project’s main characters at one point had a much different relationship than they do in the finished movie.

When asked to discuss a few unused ideas from Lightyear‘s development process, producer Galyn Susman mentioned that Keke Palmer‘s Izzy Hawthorne and Taika Waititi‘s Mo Morrison were initially thought of as siblings. Director Angus MacLane then chimed in to explain that Uzo Aduba‘s Alicia Hawthorne, Buzz’s first partner before he gets lost in time, was not in the first drafts of the story. As a result, Izzy and Mo were made to be family so the film would have the same emotional anchor:

They were originally siblings because Alicia didn’t exist. We wanted to show Izzy has a family, and Buzz doesn’t. Alicia got to be the personification of home that Buzz was after, and then connecting Izzy and Alicia was kind of like “oh, of course, that makes perfect sense.” But it wasn’t always that way.

Angus MacLane

MacLane also revealed that this version of the script had Waititi‘s Mo as a dentist. Apparently, the comedic relief character would have spent a good chunk of the movie attempting to give other characters dental check-ups, making a plethora of dental puns along the way. It’s unknown if this idea was dropped before or after Palmer and Waititi were thought of for the roles, but one can only imagine the kind of hilarious comradery that may have come out of their sibling relationship.

Lightyear lands in theaters June 17th.

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