Cars 3 is sure to feature plenty of new and returning characters from the first two films in the blockbuster animated sports-comedy series from the acclaimed Pixar Animation Studios, and the latest word has further information on the character that Nathan Fillion will be voicing. Following the theatrical releases of Cars from 2006 and Cars 2 from 2011, the third film in the franchise is all set to stand as the eighteenth major theatrical release from Pixar and company.
On the heels of the film's initial teaser trailer - which hinted at an unexpectedly dark tone for the franchise moving forward - all eyes are set on the theatrical release of Cars 3 later this June for returning fans and newcomers alike. Thus far, Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) and Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) have provided for more lighthearted fare from Pixar to offset some of the more mature themes explored in their other independent properties - see the climactic finale of Toy Story 3, especially - and as such many might be wondering just how different the latest installment will prove to be.
On that note, supporting star Nathan Fillion recently spoke with EW about his character in Cars 3. As a business class coupe named Sterling who recently bought out and remodeled the Rust-Eze Racing Center into a more contemporary training facility, Fillion was quick to explain his character's motivations as Lightning's new manager. Speaking to the personable qualities that Sterling exhibits, Fillion stated:
"While Lightning has been racing, the world has been changing, and Sterling has been at the forefront of that change and sees where it’s going and how to get that first. Anytime you say something about a quality of a character that’s ‘charming,’ I think a lot of people make the mistake and think of skeevy, but charming is someone who admires you, can disarm you, and gain your trust. He’s not being interesting, he’s being interested. He’s not, ‘Hey there, I’m great,’ which is not charming. He’s ‘Hey there, you’re great.’"
Reportedly cast of his own charming demeanor, Fillion sounds like a good choice for the role of Sterling, and based on everything presented by the actor, the cast and crew of Cars 3 definitely got the right man for the job. Speaking further to how Sterling will fit into the new movie, longtime franchise storyboard artist and first-time director Brian Fee said of the character:
"I think of Sterling as a ten-thousand dollar suit. He’s not a giant man that comes into a room and holds court and demands everybody kiss his ring. He’s not that kind of leader. He’s down to earth and charming and the exactly person you figure should be running this company. He’s the kind of guy that makes you think, hey, I could have a beer with this guy. Or a quart of oil."
Given Fillion's past history of playing devilishly charming leading men - most notably in such iconic TV shows as Firefly and Castle - it should perhaps come as no surprise that Pixar might come to the actor to lend his voice to the role of a dashing business manager type like Sterling in Cars 3. Only time will tell whether or not Sterling will prove to be a fan favorite, but here's to hoping for the very best in the mean time.