In the first teaser for Cars 3, fans were treated to a brief, but no less exhilarating clip of Lightning McQueen crashing while the announcer blared: “McQueen is fading, fading fast!” Turns out the racing car really is fading, in a much more existential journey.
New details surrounding the film appeared at Entertainment Weekly today. Lightning McQueen has to face the challenges of aging while younger, sleeker cars dominate the racing scene. One of these newcomers is the cocky Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer), described by director Brian Fee with a silver spoon in his mouth. Jackson embodies the youthful vigor that Lightning has lost. And that youthfulness is glorified above all else on the tracks.
“McQueen is not the young hotshot anymore, the kid he was back then in Cars 1. […] He’s looking in the mirror and realizing, ‘I’m 40 years old’, and dealing with the fact that the thing that you love more than anything else, you might not be able to do forever.”
Fee’s words seem to echo the same philosophy from Monsters University, which placed less of an emphasis on following your dreams. The Cars films aren’t typically lauded for their complexity, so this is quite a new shift. It’s also worth noting that Jackson Storm is similar to the Lightning of the first film. Lightning may now be taking over for Doc Hudson in this dynamic.
Jackson believes that the new, high tech training is the future of racing, while Lightning McQueen and the older cars belong in the past.
There is one car who believes steadfastly in Lightning, and that’s Cruz Ramirez. Described as “optimistic, sunny, fierce, and friendly”, she’s voiced by Cristela Alonzo. She may not be a human character, but we’re hoping that as with Coco, none of her characterization veers into stereotype or tired cliche.
Check out images of the three cars below!
Another striking development: there’s no Uber in the Cars universe!
Cars 3 drives into theaters on June 16th of this year.