We are officially at peak-gritty reboot, with everything from Batman to Power Rangers to Tomb Raider being reimagined as if it were both real and sad. So why am I even a little bit surprised that the next franchise to be get the dark and foreboding treatment would be Cars, the Pixar franchise kids love and adults love to hate? Here’s the new trailer for Summer 2017’s Cars 3, released just yesterday. Get ready to be overwhelmingly sad if you’re under 12 and, like, kiiinda pumped? if you’re over 12.
If the announcers didn’t scream “McQueen is fading!” or show the release date within the iconic Cars hood ornament, we might not even know this was a Cars movie. It’s like if a commercial for Kevin Can Wait was just a montage of couples in court getting a divorce.
The striking line “From this moment, everything will change” appears in the trailer; Pixar’s explicit message that this movie will be wildly different than the first two Cars pictures. Of course, this is not necessarily new for the Cars franchise. Keep in mind, the first Cars was a traditional buddy movie about accepting groups of people who are different than you, and the Cars 2 was a goddamn spy movie. That means nothing’s off the table.
So let’s speculate a bit — what genre could Cars 3 play in? While the most logical conclusion is a Rocky-esque sports comeback story, I want to believe that it will be a body horror picture, that the accident will permanently disfigure Lightning McQueen and force him to adapt to life as someone society considers less than, even revolting. Furthermore, McQueen could struggle to wrap his mind around such an awful incident happening at random, and would feel compelled to identify which of his past sins lead to so harsh a cosmic punishment.
Or maybe he’ll just be in the car hospital and Mater will, like, learn to surf so he can win a contest and save the town rec center. In any event, I’m sure it’ll be dumb.
Follow Mikey on Twitter @mikeymccollor.