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Cars 3 is the first Cars film not directed by Pixar head John Lasseter. However, the man behind Lightning McQueen was still very involved in the film's production. Director Brian Fee, who took over the reins from Laseter in Cars 3 recently said that, while Lasseter has a soft spot in his heart for Lightning McQueen, since the man is the father of the character, Lasseter tasked the creative team of the new movie with really making Lightning McQueen look a lot less cool this time around. According to Fee...
I can say with a significant amount of certainty that Brian Fee and the Cars 3 team succeeded admirably in their goal to make Lightning McQueen look old. Jackson Storm, as well as the other new racers that we meet in the film, all look more aerodynamic and simply more evolved. They drive faster than Lightning without working nearly as hard to do so.
Brian Fee made the comments during a Cars 3 Press Day which I was lucky to be able to attend. Having now seen a large portion of the movie, though without finished animation. I have seen Jackson Storm race and while Lightning may have been the hottest thing on the track last time around, he looks entirely out of date now.
In fact, the parallels between old Lightning and new Jackson are too hard to ignore. In the first film Lightning was the brash up and coming racer, now he's the veteran, and a new kid has taken Lightning's old spot. Writer Mike Rich spoke about how Jackson Storm might actually be in an even better place than Lightning was when he was young, making our hero seem that much older.
The central story of Cars 3 will follow Lightning McQueen as he tries to figure out exactly how to overcome this new generation. The veteran race car feels far from done racing, but he's being left in the dust. His journey will take him forward, to the cutting edge of training technology, but based on what we've seen in the trailers, it will also take him backward, into the history of racing. Perhaps those two things together will be what McQueen needs to become a better racer.
The newest trailer for Cars 3 shows a lot more about the struggle that Lightning McQueen will have in the new movie. Click over to the next page to check it out.