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Cars 3 Introduces New-Look Lightning McQueen & All-New Characters

by  in Movie News Comment
Cars 3 Introduces New-Look Lightning McQueen & All-New Characters

Disney/Pixar shocked fans in late 2016 when it released the first, unexpectedly gritty teaser trailer for “Cars 3.” Gone were the happy faces, bright colors and upbeat musical numbers audiences got to know in the first two movies. Instead, it appeared as though the friendly anthropomorphic characters had been replaced by dirtier, more realistic models.

RELATED: Pixar Releases First Cars 3 Trailer and It’s… Gritty?

Well, the first look at the series’ main star, Lightning McQueen, and a pair of new characters might cause us to pump the brakes on that assumption. Debuting via Entertainment Weekly, the first introductory videos and character sheets from the sequel show that despite the initial trailer’s claim that “From this moment, everything will change,” the cast is still unmistakably from the same world the denizens of Radiator Springs call home.

Jackson Storm (voiced by Armie Hammer) is the first newcomer to the franchise. Positioned as a rival to McQueen, the blue and black race car not only looks like he might be faster than our hero, the new technology he’s made from will likely prove that to be the case — at least at first.

“He thinks the world is his. He’s taking over. He’s owed it,” director Brian Fee told EW. “In a very broad term, I think of old football players with those little leather skull caps, and you think of football players now with all their armor, hitting so hard. It’s not the same game. What they did was not anything like what we do now. And that’s Jackson: He thinks the future of racing and the high-tech ways they train and what they can do means they’re taking the sport to a new level, and the older guys had their day, and it’s done, and they have no place in the future of racing.”

cars-3-jackson-storm

CARS 3
Jackson Storm (voice of Armie Hammer)
©2016 DisneyïPixar. All Rights Reserved.

That’s where Cruz Martinez comes in. Voiced by Cristela Alonzo, the character will take on the role of McQueen’s trainer, with the sole goal of helping the red superstar reclaim his position atop the Piston Cup heap.

RELATED: First Cars 3 Poster is As Grim As the Trailer

“Whereas others like Jackson would look at McQueen and dump him, Cruz isn’t like that at all,” Fee says of the character, who arrives at the Rust-eze Racing Center having been a lifelong fan of McQueen. “She’s the most optimistic person in the world and wants to do anything to help.”

cars-3-cruz-ramirez

©2016 DisneyïPixar. All Rights Reserved.

As for Lightning McQueen himself, while there are no current plans for a fourth “Cars” film, Fee does say that by the end of “Cars 3,” “it’s safe to say that this is only the beginning for him.”

cars-3-lightning-mcqueen

©2016 DisneyïPixar. All Rights Reserved.

Written by Robert L. Baird and Daniel Gerson, and starring the voice talents of Larry the Cable Guy, Bonnie Hunt, Cheech Marin and more, “Cars 3” arrives in theaters on June 16, 2017.

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