"You will never be the racer you once were. Accept it."
This is that advice given to "Cars 3" star Lightning McQueen (once again voiced by Owen Wilson) after his career-ending crash at (we presume) the Piston Cup. But, as you'd expect, he's not ready to retire just yet. "I'll decide when I'm done," he intones as we watch Mac drive the former champ back home to Radiator Springs.
The rest of the new Disney Pixar trailer consists of teases of Lightning's new rival, Jackson Storm (voiced by Armie Hammer), his new trainer Cruz Martinez (voiced by Cristela Alonzo), some shots of a determined-looking McQueen struggling on the race track, and an ominous demolition derby featuring a vehicle that looks strikingly familiar, albeit one wearing the number 15 instead of the iconic 95.
And yet, despite all of that, there's still no sign of Mater!
That the trailer paints a somewhat dire picture for McQueen is no surprise. In addition to the initial "grim and gritty" teaser and poster, director Brian Fee has been quite open about the sequel's less than carefree storyline. “Think of where he’d be in his career now in real time,” Fee told ScreenRant in 2016. “[McQueen] is not an old man, but he’s one of the older cars on the circuit with new rookies coming in. People start to wonder and ask when he might retire.”
All is not lost, however, and the trailer's final moment echo Fee's further comments, indicating the film's final act may be more of a triumph than a tragedy. "Everyone can relate to feeling like someone is at their heels, that they might be a little outdated in something they used to be very good at, feeling an expiration date. And knowing you need someone to help you get a second chance."
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.