Lightning McQueen is going to face the toughest challenge of his athletic career yet in Pixar’s Cars 3. Ahead of the movie’s premiere, screenwriters Mike Rich, Bob Peterson, Kiel Murray and Scott Morse talk about the journey of the world-famous race car and the darker tone of the upcoming animated movie.
Cars 3 Plot
The third installment of the animated series will see the lead character face his own obscurity as younger and faster cars join the race. To prove that he still has gasoline to burn, No. 95 teams up with a young and eager technician to help him compete in the biggest racing stage of the Piston Cup.
Rich said that after the first two movies which saw Lightning McQueen fall from grace and get back up to the race track full force, they needed to knock him off of his high horse. He and his co-writers detailed to Collider how they came up with the story for Cars 3.
“You start off with recognizing where McQueen is, in his career and in his life,” Rich explained to the publication. “When we last saw him, he was in such a strong position. You have to look at it from the standpoint of, what can we do with him, at this particular point in his career, to make him vulnerable? The fact that he suddenly realizes that he’s not done, but he’s definitely past the half-way point and has to figure out a way to stay competitive is where it started.”
They admitted that the third movie is inspired by the challenge that older athletes face in their own careers. Fresh faces come out to challenge them and, sometimes, emerge victoriously. However, these older athletes do not stay in the shadows for too long: they recreate themselves into something much better and that is the idea behind Lightning McQueen’s grand comeback on the big screen.
Morse also added that the movie will start with a lighter, brighter tone typical to every animated movie from Pixar. Eventually, the challenge will reveal itself.
The screenwriter said the tone of the movie is going to reflect the inner turmoil of the main character as he watches his career go up in flames. “[H]is demeanor and the tone of the film changes to match the storm that he’s going through in his career,” he teased.
Rich added that when they decided this particular story, they also decided to make the tone darker because they wanted to stay authentic. He stated that they cannot make a lighter version of this part of Lightning McQueen’s story.
Peterson explained that the race car “fell from a great distance” and, as a result, will feel “pretty depressed about that.”
The upcoming movie will also introduce a new character voiced by Cristela Alonzo. The character, Cruz Ramirez, has an idea how to help Lightning McQueen win, but he does not seem to trust her.
The screenwriters explained that the idea behind Cruz Ramirez is to create someone who likely will be the last character on Earth to be friends with Lightning McQueen. She is his contrast and working together will prove to be a challenge.
Cars 3 Movie Details
The continuation of the story of the greatest race car in the world, Lightning McQueen, continues in Cars 3. Owen Wilson is back as No. 95 with his old crew Mater (Larry the Cable Guy), Sally (Bonnie Hunt) and Luigi (Tony Shalboub).
Gunning for his title is Sterling (Nathan Fillion), Natalie Certain (Kerry Washington), Miss Fritter (Lea DeLaria) and Jacksom Storm (Armie Hammer). He will have a little help from young technician Cruz Ramirez who has a crazy idea that could help Lightning McQueen get to the finish line and reclaim his glory. Will he do it?
Directed by Brian Fee, Cars 3 will land on the big screen starting June 16.
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