Cars 3 will be introducing several new characters when it debuts next month. One of them will be voiced by Nathan Fillion, and now we know how his character will fit into the story. We knew the character was named Sterling and that he was a pretty cool looking car. Now, we know there's much more than that. Sterling is the new head of the Rust-Eze Racing Center who tries to help Lightning McQueen get back into top form. According to Fillion...
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.
In the original Cars, the Rust-Eze company was run by Rusty and Dusty (the voices of NPR's Car Talk) but it seems that they will apparently not be the owners anymore when we see Cars 3. According to Entertainment Weekly, Nathan Fillion's Sterling is now the man in charge. He's brought with him new, modern, ways to train racers, but that doesn't necessarily mean that he's entirely a "new school" sort of guy. He's described as somebody who is about the same age as Lightning, but has his finger on the pulse of modern racing and understands what needs to happen to get ahead.
Overall, Sterling seems like a pretty good guy. He's a big fan of Lightning from what it sounds like. While the idea of a "new owner" can often be used in films as a way to introduce a new antagonist, Sterling doesn't appear to be this. Instead, what we can say about Sterling is that he's a businessman. He clearly sees his racing team as an investment and he wants to see it pay off. According to director Brian Fee, Sterling is a pretty well grounded new leader.
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.
Needless to say, Nathan Fillion sounds like the perfect person to voice a character like this. The actor is known for his ability to be charming and if he can transfer that charm to his automotive alter-ego, then Sterling may end up being one of the coolest animated characters we've ever seen. We'll find out for certain when Cars 3 drives into theaters June 16.