Everything To Know About Zurg, Voiced By James Brolin, In Pixar's Lightyear

This year, "Lightyear" is set to tell the story of the movie that inspired the cartoon that inspired the toy Buzz Lightyear, with an epic space adventure involving faster-than-light travel, a cute sidekick, and alien creatures.

Of course, what is a hero without a good villain? On that front, "Lightyear" seems to be covered, as the film is bringing back Buzz's archnemesis, Zurg, now voiced by James Brolin. Once Buzz's greatest adversary, and at once point also his father, the evil Emperor is back to being a menace in "Lightyear," but he is not as we last saw him.

During a "Lightyear" virtual presentation /Film attended, the filmmakers talked about bringing back Zurg.

'He needs to be a threat'

As the trailer for "Lightyear" showed, the movie is going to introduce a lot of robots, a staple of the sci-fi genre, even before we see a glimpse of Zurg. As director Angus MacLane said:

"We're going to have so many robots you're going to get sick of robots. And just when you get sick of robots, we're going to give you one more, we're going to give you Zurg."

Though MacLane played coy with the details, sets art director Greg Peltz did tease what to expect from the new design for Zurg, and how they made him fit the hard-boiled sci-fi world of the new film. "His design has to be intimidating so he could carry the menace and the presence our story demanded," Peltz said. "Taking all of those goals together, reimagining the character as a giant robot was a natural fit for the character and the world he occupies."

But how do you make Zurg distinct from the other robots in the film? Simple, you look elsewhere for inspiration. "So in addition to our other sci-fi inspirations," Peltz continued. "Zurg also takes cues from super robots and mecha and Japanese anime, which I am personally a huge fan of."

"Zurg is a force to be reckoned with in our movie and he has a crazy array of awesome features that you get to see him use in the film," Peltz added. It seems "Lightyear" is not only skipping calling Zurg Emperor, it makes one significant change to the character calling the character — he is now a robot.

"Most importantly though, Zurg's new mechanized form doesn't mean that he's a mindless automaton. He is still a fully rounded character just like the rest of our cast, but to find out what kind of character he is, you're going to have to watch the movie."

"Lightyear" is set to hit theaters on June 17, 2022.