Sleek, aerodynamic and carbon fiber are just a few of the words we would use to describe the new characters from Cars 3. In an exclusive look from EW, we are presented with exciting details surrounding the “Next-Gen” Racer, Jackson Storm, and Lighting McQueen’s new trainer, Cruz Ramirez.
Director, Brian Fee, has previously mentioned the aging of the “once hot-shot rookie” Lightning McQueen but added a few additional details noting, “He’s in the middle of his life, and as an athlete, that’s getting up there. You have your whole life ahead of you, yet your career is starting to show its age. He’s looking in the mirror and realizing, ‘I’m 40 years old,’ and dealing with the fact that the thing that you love more than anything else, you might not be able to do forever.”
While we have been aware of the possible “combustible” behavior and attitude of Jackson Storm, we never knew who would be tackling the vocal role of this character — until now. EW announced that Armie Hammer would be voicing the arrogant race car and we think the casting is perfect. As Fee explains, “Jackson was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Everything comes easy to him, and everything about him says he’s faster, so much so that we’ve designed him so that even when he’s standing next to McQueen, McQueen looks old.”
The car pushing Lighting McQueen back in racing shape is trainer Cruz Ramirez (voiced by Cristela Alonzo) who has been a lifelong fan of the rookie sensation. Wildly optimistic and fierce, Ramirez comes to the aid of Lighting McQueen when he shows up at the Rust-eze Racing Center determined to help.
What we found interesting was the mention of a Rust-eze Racing Center – we haven’t heard of this yet and we are intrigued! EW released detailed photo descriptions and Disney released video presentations of the characters with music seemingly matching their personalities — check the videos out below.
Jackson Storm is fast, sleek, and ready to race. A frontrunner in the next generation of racers, Storm’s quiet confidence and cocky demeanor are off-putting—but his unmatched speed threatens to redefine the sport. Trained on high-tech simulators that are programmed to perfect technique and maximize velocity, Jackson Storm is literally built to be unbeatable—and he knows it.
Armie Hammer (“Birth of a Nation”) was tapped as the voice of Jackson Storm. Hammer recently appeared in Tom Ford’s “Nocturnal Animals.” He will next be seen starring in “Free Fire,” directed by Ben Wheatley; “Final Portrait,” directed by Stanley Tucci; and “Call Me by Your Name,” directed by Luca Guadagnino.
Cruz Ramirez is a sunny-but-fierce unconventional trainer at the Rust-eze Racing Center. She expertly arms the team’s talented rookies with cutting-edge tools to tear up the track—but she nearly stalls when her longtime idol Lightning McQueen shows up. While she’d love to help him find his way back to the top, she knows the competition is faster than ever, and victory is all about speed—or is it?
Cristela Alonzo (“The Angry Birds Movie”) was called on to help bring the character to life. Alonzo’s debut stand-up special for Netflix, “Lower Classy,” which debuts on Jan. 24, 2017, showcases the comedian’s life as the daughter of an immigrant, touching on important issues like social class, breaking the glass ceiling, and how she can’t get the hang of Zumba.
Lightning McQueen is world champion—a modern-day racing legend who’s riding high with five Piston-Cup wins under his hood. Suddenly, he finds himself faced with a new generation of racers who threaten not only his dominance in the sport—but the confidence that got him there. Determined to get back to the pole position, the #95 must decide if his love for racing is enough to fuel the comeback of his life.
Owen Wilson (“The Royal Tenenbaums,” upcoming “Wonder”) returns to the racetrack as the voice of the champion. Wilson stars in the upcoming Woody Harrelson-directed live film “Lost in London.”
Given the emotional teaser trailer that was released in November, the idea of an injured Lightning McQueen has left a lot of questions and consternation for Pixar fans.
Fee kept many story details shrouded in mystery but did note, “Where the franchise goes from here, I have no idea what may be down the road, but I can tell you that for Lightning McQueen, as a character, I think by the end of the movie it’s safe to say that this is only the beginning for him.” So, don’t worry folks, it looks like Lightning will recover from his big crash.
Don’t forget to join us on January 9 at 10:00 PM EST / 7:00 PM PST to discuss the Cars 3 presentation from The North American International Auto Show and the Cars 3 ESPN exclusive look in more detail on our YouTube Live event. Be sure to share your thoughts on the detailed look of Jackson Storm and Cruz Ramirez with other Pixar fans in the Pixar Post Forum.