No Paul Newman or Doc Hudson in ‘Cars 2’ -- but watch for a tribute

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Since Paul Newman died in 2008, ‘Cars’ fans have wondered whether the actor would somehow make a posthumous voice appearance in the upcoming sequel, Nat King Cole-style.

John Lasseter, the Pixar chief creative officer and director of the movie, said that the studio debated incorporating the Doc Hudson character into the June 24 release but decided the best way to honor Newman would be to leave him out. ‘We have a lovely tribute to Paul in the movie,’ Lasseter told 24 Frames at the Oscars on Sunday. ‘But we didn’t feel it would be right to include him or the character.’

Lasseter didn’t say how the film, which takes Lighting McQueen and Mater on an espionage adventure through the streets of Tokyo, would deal with the absence of Doc Hudson. Fans were particularly enamored with the character, a one-time champion car before a terrible accident ended its career. In his second life as a doctor, Hudson has become a respected town elder and guides a young Lightning, whom he sees as a little too close to his own hotshot younger self.

Previously, Larry the Cable Guy (who voices Mater) had acknowledged there may be some kind of tribute to Newman during the credits. Knowing Pixar’s penchant for Easter eggs, we wouldn’t be surprised if that tribute makes its way into the film too.


--Steven Zeitchik


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