The Cars franchise is one of the biggest that Pixar currently has, so the fact that we're about to hit the third entry in the series is far from surprising. However, since the last Pixar series to make it to three films is now getting ready for a fourth, there's plenty of reason to believe the same could happen with Cars. I had a chance to ask the filmmakers about the potential for Cars 4. Is there more to the story of Lightning McQueen? According to director Brian Fee...
I don't know. I'm not sure. I actually don't know the future of the franchise. I don't know where we'll go after that. I don't know if we'll make one. If we do, will it be more McQueen? This is the third act but I don't know how many acts he has in his life. Will other characters be main characters, at this point I have no idea. I think anything's possible.
So while Brian Fee was not willing to commit to another Cars film, he's certainly leaving things open to the possibility. During a recent Cars 3 press day I was able to attend, the new film was described as the "3rd act" of Lightning McQueen's career, which would seem to indicate the end of a particular road, but, as Fee says, maybe McQueen has a fourth act left in him, perhaps even more. Alternatively, there could be the possibility for a fourth Cars movie that doesn't focus on Lightning, in the same way that Cars 2 was a movie much more about Lightning's buddy Mater.
I asked producers Kevin Reher and Andrea Warren about their thoughts on Cars 4 as well. The two of them were certainly interested by the prospect of Cars 4, at least from a theoretical standpoint, but they were not in much of a mindset to consider specifics. According to Reher...
I don't know, there might be. If there's a good story to tell I mean our heads kinda break after having gotten this one done, like oh my god what could you do the further adventures of? But like any sequel, from Toy Story 4 to Incredibles, as long as there's a good story to tell it's worth investing, we do love these characters, we love them as much as the public does.
They did have at least one idea about who might be the centerpiece of a new Cars movie if it's not Lightning McQueen, the character who plays his trainer in the new film, Cruz Ramirez.
It'll be interesting to see if Cruz is a breakout character, kind of like Mater was. Does it resonate with people. Would she be involved in a 4, who knows?
Pixar is clearly not closing the door on the Cars franchise after part 3. We'll get to see how Lightning McQeen's third act plays out when the film arrives on June 16