It was 2017 when we got Cars 3, the latest main film of the massive Pixar franchise. And while other parts of this universe have shown up since then (e.g., 2022’s Cars on the Road animated series), many fans have been left wondering about a potential Cars 4. And with the studio having offered little info, an independent label has taken the situation into its own hands, coming up with an unofficial demo showing Pixar why the world needs Cars 4 to happen… as a live-action film.
When Cars 3 was released, multiple media outlets sat down with the filmmakers, with a possible fourth movie naturally coming up in the conversation. And while we’ve already reminded you of the bad news in the intro, the good news is that director Brian Fee, and producers Kevin Reher and Andrea Warren seemed opened to the idea when talking to Cinema Blend.
“I don’t know if we’ll make one. If we do, will it be more McQueen? This is the third act, but I don’t know how many acts he has in his life. Will other characters be main characters, at this point I have no idea. I think anything’s possible,” Fee told Cinema Blend.
Nevertheless, we weren’t able to find any hints of the filmmakers, or the studio, aiming for a live-action take on the potential Cars 4. However, with live-action adaptations arguably growing in numbers these days (think: Netflix and animes), albeit not without criticism, this is a possibility. And while we’re no cinema experts, the quick fan animation we’ve brought along easily highlights the potential of the idea.
Besides, fans have already covered the fictional casting on Idea Wiki. For the record, people dream of with Tom Holland as Lightning McQueen, Kurt Russell as Doc Hudson, Zendaya as Sally, Woody Harleson as Mater and many others.
One minute of fan-made Cars “live-action”
The artists behind the Grom TV social media label is responsible for this project, which got released one year ago. For one, the label releases short animated films and sketches, inspired by big screen special effects.
And, in the one-minute YouTube clip below, we see the main artist of the label driving his F10 BMW 5 Series on urban roads in Belarus (as labeled on Instagram). The man gets to meet an obviously animated Lightning McQueen and enjoy a bit of high-octane action. For the record, the Cars 4 take is on us and yes, the live-action take is only partial, but we feel the exercise still makes a good point for an official production of the sort.
Nobody will mistake this quick take for a mockbuster—a movie created to profit from the momentum of a big motion picture. However, at least in our book, the mix of real-life footage and CGI shows that, with the level of integration a studio like Pixar could deliver, a live-action version of Cars could be spectacular.
After all, Lighting McQueen, which isn’t always the main protagonist of the official movies, has spawned multiple real-world builds, like this Mazda RX-7 (did anybody say “Rotor Cup”?).
Of course, while it may not be as difficult to such a movie to please fans of the originals as in the case of Netflix productions such as Cowboy Bebop—we enjoyed both the original anime and the live-action series—there are other challenges involved.
For one, Pixar famously placed the eyes of the Cars characters on the windshield and not the front end in order to avoid an eerie, snake-like appeaance for the cars. However, replicating this effect for a live-action series seems like quite the obstacle.
As far as the movie’s plot would go, we can’t ignore the ever-more-present reality of electric cars. After all, development for Cars kicked off back in 1998. That’s when Danish writer Jorgen Klubien came up with a script named The Yellow Car, which was about a an EV facing the realities of a world dominated by gass guzzlers. Sure, the script went through dramatic changes on its way to Cars’ 2006 debut, but perhaps the idea could return.
Meanwhile, though, the second clip below shows us what making this sort of unofficial animation requires, with its creators taking us through the entire process in under seven minutes.