Two new characters are set to join Lightning McQueen and company

As we prepare ourselves with the influx of videos coming from the set of Fast 8, it’s important to remember that it’s not the only automotive-themed movie that’s currently in development in the starry world of Hollywood. Another movie, albeit with a vastly different treatment than the Fast & Furious franchise, will have its day in the sun in 2017. I’m talking about Cars 3, the third installment of the bright and cheery Cars movie franchise brought to us by Disney-Pixar. The movie is scheduled to be released in June 16, 2017 but we’re already getting an idea on what we can expect from the movie, including the addition of two new characters that will join Lightning McQueen, Mater, and the rest of the Cars crew.

Speaking with USA Today, Cars 3 director Brian Fee announced the addition of Cruz Ramirez and Jackson Storm into the fold. According to Fee, Ramirez will play "a young Hispanic female race car" that will help a long-in-the-tooth McQueen get back to racing shape in time for the Florida 500 (the movie’s version of the Daytona 500) where he will race against a crop of fresh-faced race cars that have taken over the racing scene, including the brash and ambitious Jackson Storm. The plot may not be fresh, but the minutiae of having McQueen come to grips with the newfangled ways of hi-tech racing is certainly something that can speak to the current state of motorsports these days.

Not much is known at this point about the actors that will voice the roles of Cruz Ramirez and Jackson Storm, but it is known that Owen Wilson will once again voice Lightning McQueen and that the main cars from the first two movies will also be returning for Cars 3. Here’s to hoping that Finn McMissile and Holley Shiftwell come back to the scene too.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Why it matters

I’m not the biggest fan of the Cars movie franchise, but I do like it that Disney-Pixar is moving forward with a third movie. It really has nothing to do with the plot itself or the characters, but I like it when kids today have something that they can enjoy for themselves and in this specific case, become the jumpstart that turns them into car fans.

I know when I was a kid that I got my early start of being a car enthusiast from watching David Hasselhoff’s Knight Rider. Granted, kids today have infinitely more options to choose from to get their automotive fix, but there’s still nothing like an animated feature film about cars that can speak to the unbridled enthusiasm of a child. I know this for a fact because I have a couple of nephews who immediately wanted Cars 2 merchandise the second they got out from watching the movie. To this day, that still counts as one of their favorite movies and when I told them that Cars 3 was coming next year, they couldn’t contain their excitement.

It doesn’t sound much and I’ll admit that some kids could just as quickly forget about the movie after watching it. But for those who continue to enjoy Cars and are excited to see it, I’m all for it. Who knows, this movie could be what turns them into auto enthusiasts and Lightning McQueen becomes their version of K.I.T.T. from when I was growing up. I can trace my fandom to automobiles from that show. I can’t imagine, given how bigger the world has gotten from a reach and influence standpoint, how many young kids today will end up becoming gear heads because of an animated movie that featured talking race cars.

So keep doing your thing, Disney-Pixar. I’m looking forward to Cars 3 as much as anybody else, but not for the reasons you might think.

Source: USA Today

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