Yet More ‘Cars’ on the Way, Disney Doubles Down Despite Recent Flops

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Lightning McQueen and Mater drive away from fire

Credit: Pixar

If you thought Lightning McQueen had raced his final race, think again – a Cars 4 are on the way.

It’s been six years since we last saw Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) in Cars 3 (2017), but according to the studio’s creative director Jay Ward, we can expect to see him again in the future. Pixar Animation is reportedly working on yet another Cars project.

Lightning McQueen on stage at Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy, a Disney attraction located in Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort
Credit: Disney

The confirmation came from a recent interview with Ward at the 2023 Porsche Rennsport Reunion Event by The Late Brake Show. While discussing the design of Sally Carrera (Bonnie Hunt) – McQueen’s girlfriend in the series – Ward admitted that McQueen’s story isn’t done quite yet.

“There are more Cars things brewing,” he said. “I can’t say much more yet. Cars has got a life that will keep going. I am working on some real fun projects right now that you will see in a couple of years. It takes us a while to make them.”

While it may not hit our screens any time soon, it’s surprising to hear that there’s more Cars coming at all. As of 2023, the franchise consists of three films, two spin-off films, five short films, and three TV series. However, not all of these projects have been well received. The first spin-off, Planes (2013), was widely panned by critics, while Cars 2 (2011) and Cars 3 (2017) rate as Pixar’s worst-reviewed feature films on Rotten Tomatoes. Yes, even worse than Lightyear (2022).

There’s not exactly a lot of mileage (pardon the pun) left for Lightning McQueen and company. Both of its sequels were accused of dragging out unnecessary plot points, detracting from the core story told in the original film. It’s tough to picture another film that doesn’t do the same thing.

Whether or not the world actually needs another Cars movie, it’s also interesting to see Pixar pivoting towards even more sequels. Back in 2019, the studio promised that Toy Story 4 (2019) would be its last sequel for a while.

Lightning McQueen and Mater look at each other
Credit: Pixar

Just four years later, Pixar seems to be backtracking on this promise. Over the next few years, audiences can expect Inside Out (2023), Toy Story 5, and, it seems, Cars 4. While there was a time when Pixar not only delivered but arguably overdelivered with its sequels, its latest releases have faced shaky reactions from both audiences and critics. Fingers crossed Pixar can get its kachow back ASAP.

Are you excited about Cars 4? Let us know in the comments!

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