Disney released three new videos highlighting some of the returning and new characters appearing in Cars 3, but it didn’t answer the most important question: What’s going on with Lightning McQueen?
In November, when Disney released the first teaser trailer for Cars 3, people were left horrified by the image of Lightning McQueen flying through the air. Children were scarred, fans were heartbroken and the soulless were quick to point out that obviously Lightning McQueen wasn’t dead because he’s the franchise’s main character.
Polygon asked Disney for comment on the trailer and the reaction to it at the time, but never received a statement. Director Brian Fee, however, sat down with Entertainment Weekly to discuss the film and gave some more insight into what the future may hold for the precious McQueen.
“McQueen is not the young hotshot anymore, the kid he was back then in Cars 1,” Fee said. “He’s in the middle of his life, and as an athlete, that’s getting up there. You have your whole life ahead of you, yet your career is starting to show its age.
“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 evaded questions about whether or not McQueen would be in future installments of the Cars franchise, but did give some sign of hope the race car would make it out okay.
“Where the franchise goes from here, I have no idea what may be down the road, but I can tell you that for Lightning McQueen, as a character, I think by the end of the movie it’s safe to say that this is only the beginning for him,” Fee said.
Now, Disney has supplied us with a couple of Gran Turismo or Need for Speed-style car introduction videos to show off the new vehicles. In the one above of McQueen, some of the more recognizable assets, including the giant 95 painted around the chassis, are highlighted.
In another of the clips, a new “millennial” car is introduced; Cruz Ramirez, a yellow race car described as a lifelong fan of McQueen. She joins his team as a coach to try and help him get back in the game. Ramirez will be voiced by Cristela Alonzo (The Angry Birds Movie).
The final car, and the most interesting, is Jackson Storm. Storm, who actually does look like he’s been ripped right out of a Need for Speed title and is voiced by Armie Hammer, is a technologically advanced, arrogant younger car. Fee told Entertainment Weekly that Storm is supposed to represent what a decade of automotive innovation looks like, albeit in one sinister-looking package.
If McQueen is the car that most resembles what your parents were into after watching Bullitt in 1968, then Storm is what you’ll see scrolling through Twitter this week as the Consumer Electronics Show rages on in Las Vegas.
Cars 3 has turned out to be one of the most anticipated movies of 2017 — if only to see what becomes of McQueen. It will be released on June 16, 2017.