Cars 3 is changing gears.
The third installment of Pixar's beloved race car franchise is going to be different from its two predecessors. Fans who caught the teaser trailer saw that Cars 3 will be taking a darker turn, as protagonist Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) crashed and burned on the racetrack. "From this moment everything will change," the trailer teased.
According to the film's synopsis, Lightning McQueen is "blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers" and finds himself "suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician, Cruz Ramirez, with her own plan to win, plus inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn't through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing's biggest stage!"
Not only will McQueen have to rehabilitate from a crash, he'll also have to face fierce competition from villainous Jackson Storm, voiced by Armie Hammer. "Jackson was born with a silver spoon in his mouth," director Brian Fee tells Entertainment Weekly. "Everything comes easy to him, and everything about him says he's faster, so much so that we've designed him so that even when he's standing next to McQueen, McQueen looks old."
Storm's savvy technology is a reflection of the ten years that have gone by since the release of the first Cars. He's outfitted with an updated metal body, more horsepower and a futuristic design. But it's his attitude that is truly reflective of the times.
"He thinks the world is his. He's taking over. He's owed it," Fee tells 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."
So what does that mean for McQueen, who is recovering from his bad accident?! Fans will just have to wait and see, but fortunately he has Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo), a young trainer who allies with him.
"Whereas others like Jackson would look at McQueen and dump him, Cruz isn't like that at all," Fee explains. "She's the most optimistic person in the world and wants to do anything to help."