The Cars franchise has never enjoyed the sort of critical acclaim often heaped upon other Pixar offerings – in fact, Cars 2 was the studio’s first film to receive a certified “rotten” rating from film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. Coupled with the sequel’s disappointing box office receipts, the series doesn’t seem like the most likely candidate for a third installment – and yet here we are, with the first trailer for Cars 3.
This is essentially a slightly longer version of the teaser trailer from last year, which features Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) suffering a catastrophic setback that threatens to end his racing career. No longer the hotshot speedster he was in the early days of his career, Lightning is forced to consider walking away from the only life he’s ever known – after all, how can he compete with the likes of Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer), the young newcomer whose technological advancements have made him virtually unstoppable?
Of course, everyone loves a comeback story, and it sounds like our hero will take some advice from Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo), a lifelong fan who joins Lightning’s team as his new coach. Whether or not she can help Lightning elevate his game remains to be seen, but we’ll find out this summer.
Cars 3 speeds into theaters on June 16.