The franchise has been a huge success for Pixar but is Cars 4 likely to happen? The first Cars movie followed a talking race car called Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson), who gets lost in a desert town on his way to a race and is forced to complete community service before he can leave. The cocky race car eventually falls in love with the small town after spending time with the residents and learns a little humility. While Cars wasn't quite as acclaimed as other Pixar efforts like Toy Story or Monsters, Inc, it was still a big success. It also boasted a great cast, including the legendary Paul Newman and Michael Keaton (Spider-Man: Homecoming).
Cars 2 would add some spy drama intrigue to the series, with Lightning taking part in an international race and working alongside a spy named Finn McMissile, voiced by Michael Caine (The Dark Knight). The 2011 sequel received mixed reviews, with the visuals being praised but the story and comedy found lacking. Cars 3 seemingly brought Lightning's story to a close, where he suffers a terrible crash during a race and has to train to take on a new generation of racers. Cars 3 was considered an improvement on the second movie and tackled some darker themes.
Cars also launched a number of spinoffs, including numerous short films, video games and a movie franchise called Planes. This series ran for two movies, and while a third entry was planned, it stalled following the closure of Disneytoon Studios. The Cars franchise has collectively grossed over $1 billion worldwide - and much, much more in merchandise - so will Cars 4 ever happen?
Cars 3 Was The Lowest Grossing Of The Series
While Cars 3 was a box-office success, its numbers were noticeably down from the second movie. Cars 2 grossed over $560 million in 2011, while Cars 3 took in over $380 million. Again, that haul isn't terrible but combined with the mixed reception of the franchise, it suggests audience interest in the Cars franchise is dipping.
Cars 4 Could Feature Cruz Ramirez As The Lead
Cars 3 introduced Cruz Ramirez as Lightning's trainer but she eventually takes his spot in the final race. The third film was also described as the third act of McQueen's career, with the ending seeming to suggest Cruz would become the new racer while Lightning would act as mentor. That said, it appears Pixar has no plans for Cars 4 so if a potential fourth entry did happen, it could still involve McQueen racing.
Pixar Is Moving Away From Sequels
In recent years, Pixar has been on a run of sequels to their biggest properties, including Finding Dory and Incredibles 2. Following the release of Toy Story 4, the company aims to focus on developing original projects for the foreseeable future.
This means that while Cars 4 is possible, it won't arrive any time soon. Cars 3 did a good job wrapping up McQueen's arc, and with the movie's modest performance compared to previous entries, this means the series could be on ice for at least the next few years.