Late screen legend Paul Newman’s name appears as Doc Hudson on a cast listing for Disney/Pixar’s upcoming sequel Cars 3. Released in 2006, Cars featured several familiar voices, from Owen Wilson as the film’s hero Lightning McQueen and Larry the Cable Guy as Tow Mater, to George Carlin as Filmore, and Cheech Marin as Ramone. Perhaps no voice was more distinct, though, than that of Newman, who played the pivotal role of Doc Hudson, a former race champ who served as Lightning McQueen’s mentor.

The acclaimed actor and humanitarian passed away, sadly, however, in 2008, leaving an enormous legacy behind him which included such classic films as Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Hustler, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Sting, and The Color of Money — which earned Newman his only Best Actor Oscar. His last screen credit, however, was Cars, and by the looks of things, moviegoers will get to hear Newman on the big screen one more time.

In a cast list posted in a tweet from Disney news site Stitch Kingdom, Doc Hudson is listed among the characters with Newman’s name beside it. The unexpected reveal should come as exciting news for Cars and Newman fans, since he was not only the anchor of the first film, but perhaps the movie’s most memorable character. And while Cars 2 brought aboard another acting legend with Michael Caine to help give some veteran weight to the film, there’s no question that Newman’s presence was missed.

Of course, the most logical guess as to how Doc Hudson is appearing is that the character will likely appear in flashback scenes and/or voiceover form, serving as a memory for Lightning McQueen. From what the production has revealed so far, Lightning McQueen is now the aging vehicle among the stable of younger and faster racers including Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer), and like his mentor Doc Hudson, the former hot shot is facing the twilight of his career. It appears that Lightning McQueen’s story this time around will parallel that of Doc Hudson (aka The Hudson Hornet) which will possibly lead to the re-introduction of the character 11 years after he appeared in the first Cars movie.

One tip-off of Doc Hudson’s inclusion in Cars 3 came in the film’s first official trailer, where at one point Lightning McQueen is shown staring at an old billboard at Thomasville Speedway that touts that it’s the home of No. 51, the “Fabulous Hudson Hornet.” Also validating the likelihood that Doc Hudson will be appearing in Cars 3 are the cast credits on IMDb, which also lists Newman’s name as the classic character.

No matter how much Doc Hudson is featured in Cars 3, the inclusion of Newman will no doubt serve as an emotional trip down memory lane. While Pixar has replaced voice actors in the past (Lloyd Sherr took on the voice of Filmore after Carlin passed away in 2006), it made the right move by keeping Newman as the voice of Doc Hudson in what promises to be Lightning McQueen’s most heartfelt story yet.

NEXT: Cars 3 International Trailer

Source: Stitch Kingdom

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