Disney has released two international posters for Cars 3, which show Lightning McQueen squaring off against two young racers Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo) and Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer). While Jackson Storm becomes his most contested rival on the Piston Cup circuit, Cruz Ramirez is actually on Lightning's side, serving as his new trainer to help him beat the young upstart. The first poster teases a scene we've previously seen in early concept art, which may be an homage to an iconic movie.
BadTaste.it debuted these posters, the first of which shows Lightning McQueen on the beach. You may recall that, back in May, Disney revealed concept art that showed Lightning McQueen and Cruz Ramirez racing on the sand, which may or may not be an homage to the iconic oceanside race between Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) and Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) in Rocky 3. The second poster, however, is set at a packed racing arena, with Lightning and Jackson Storm facing off, as Old Man Lightning puts his new training to the test against this Millennial jerk.
Jackson Storm and Cruz Ramirez won't be the only new characters debuting in Cars 3. Pixar announced last month that Kerry Washington has come aboard to voice racing analyst Natalie Certain, with Nathan Fillion providing the voice of businesscar Sterling and Lea DeLaria as demolition derby legend Miss Fritter. Real-life racing legend Lewis Hamilton, a three-time Formula 1 champion, will voice Hamilton, a voice command assistant for Cruz Ramirez. Reprising their roles from the first two movies are Larry the Cable Guy as Mater, Bonnie Hunt as Sally, Lloyd Sherr as Fillmore, Paul Dooley as Sarge, Katherine Helmond as Lizzie, Cheech Marin as Ramon, Michael Wallis as Sheriff, Jennifer Lewis as Flo, John Ratzenberger as Mack, Tony Shalhoub as Luigi, Guido Quaroni as Guido, Bob Costas as Bob Cutlass, Bob Peterson as Chick Hicks, Ray Magliozzi as Dusty and Tom Magliozzi as Rusty.
Brian Fee makes his directorial debut with Cars 3, but the filmmaker is no stranger to the franchise. He has served as a storyboard artist on both Cars and Cars 2, along with other Pixar hits such as Wall-E and Ratatouille. His other credits include serving as a prop designer on The Fox and the Hound 2, Tarzan 2, Mulan 2, 101 Dalmatians 2: Patch's London Adventure and The Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea. He also served as a story artist on Monsters University, and was part of the senior creative team on Inside Out. If this animated sequel becomes as big a hit as its predecessors, it could be the star of a long directorial career at Pixar for Brian Fee.
Disney has set a June 16 release date for this Cars sequel, which opens against Open Road's Tupac Shakur biopic All Eyez on Me, Sony's R-rated comedy Rough Night and Entertainment Studios' thriller 47 Meters Down. It is also sandwiched between Universal's The Mummy reboot on June 9 and Paramount's action sequel Transformers: The Last Knight on June 23. Cars kicked off this franchise in 2006, with the first movie earning $244 million domestic and $462.2 million worldwide, from a $120 million budget. The 2011 sequel Cars 2 didn't fare quite as well domestically ($191.4 million) but did prove to be a bigger hit overseas ($370.6 million) for a worldwide tally of $562.1 million from a $200 million budget. Take a look at these new posters from Cars 3 below.