Cars 3 isn’t due out until next year, but we’ve just learned a new tidbit about the latest entry in the popular Disney-Pixar series: there will be a character whose purpose is to help the aging Lightning McQueen adapt to the newfangled ways of high-tech racing. Bonus: it’ll be a female character, too.
Director Brian Fee spoke to USA Today with the scoop on the “young Hispanic female race car” named Cruz Ramirez. She comes on the scene to help McQueen when he’s faced with a younger rival, another new character named Jackson Storm.
“(McQueen) is not an old man, but he’s one of the older cars on the circuit with new rookies coming in. People start to wonder and ask when he might retire ... Jackson Storm is the face of these rookies who have come onto the scene,” says Fee. “And McQueen is in a position where his entire racing generation is being pushed out. But it’s too early to be shown the door right now.”
Ramirez aims to help him adapt and close the technical gap. The duo prepare in the racing off-season for McQueen’s one chance to show he’s got the goods in the Florida 500 (the equivalent of the Daytona 500).
“Everyone can relate to feeling like someone is at their heels, that they might be a little outdated in something they used to be very good at, feeling an expiration date. And knowing you need someone to help you get a second chance,” says Fee.
So far, actors have not yet been cast to voice either of the new characters. USA Today notes that the main cars from the first two films will return, and the film will thematically be “a love letter to racing and the American way,” according to Fee.