For generations, Lightning McQueen has ruled the roost.
It’s a reputation one can trace all the way back to ’06, when Owen Wilson’s spunky red stock car won over the hearts and minds of Radiator Springs by helping the retiring vet Strip “The King” Weathers over the finish line, sacrificing his hold on the Piston Cup in the process. That momentum carried over into Brad Lewis and John Lasseter’s Cars 2 five years later, where Lightning completed his transition from rookie to bona fide champion.
But when you’ve reached the absolute peak of stock car racing, there’s only one direction to go: down. And that’s exactly what lies in store for Lightning McQueen in Cars 3, Brian Fee’s animated threequel that’s set to introduce a fresh wave of budding racers on to the circuit. Among the fresh faces (grills?) is Jackson Storm, a hotshot speedster to be voiced by Armie Hammer. He’s the archetypal rival to the aging Lightning McQueen, who fast begins to realize that his best days on the circuit may already be in his rearview mirror.
However, in typically stubborn fashion, Owen Wilson’s protagonist refuses to call it quits, and instead makes a pitstop in Radiator Springs to undergo a Rocky-styled training regime. The end result is a comeback even the Italian Stallion would be proud of, and Pixar has today pumped out another two promos for Brian Fee’s Cars 3 to showcase that spirited comeback in motion. Forget Balboa vs. Ivan Drago; this summer it’s all about Lightning vs. Jackson Storm.
Cars 3 zooms into theaters across the globe on June 16th. Joining Wilson and Hammer in the voice booth are Nathan Fillion, Larry the Cable Guy, Bonnie Hunt and Kerry Washington.