The man of many talents is in talks for a new challenge, as a friend to the muppets. He may replace Jason Segel in the the sequel to the 2011 film.
Ricky Gervais has been a lot of things: an actor, a hit show creator, an awards show host. But he may be setting out to do something that will be new territory to him, as a muppet. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Gervais is in talks to play the lead character in the sequel to 2011’s The Muppets.
However, as much of a character as he already is, Gervais wouldn’t actually be a muppet in the movie (to the dismay of, well, almost everyone). He will, however, be the human lead character.
“The follow-up movie to the 2011 hit, which starts production in January, is a European-centric adventure,” said The Hollywood Reporter. “And while the film will be populated by a slew of cameos, there are three main human roles.”
One of the other actors who has signed on to the film, as a human, is Ty Burrell. According to THR, he will be playing a “lazy Interpol inspector.”
Gervais was actually supposed to appear in the first film, but his cameo didn’t make the final cut. It looks like he impressed producers enough with that film to have them look at him as the main character this time around.
“Gervais… would play the lead — as much as one can be a lead opposite Kermit, Fozzie and Miss Piggy — with his stature being compared to the role played by Jason Segel in the 2011 movie,” said THR. “But the nature of Gervais’ character is unknown because the script is being kept secret. Also unclear is whether the part calls for singing, a requirement for the first movie (but here’s hoping).”
It looks like Segel will not be back for the new film either, but the director of the first film, James Bobin, will be returning. The original producers, David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman, have signed on to produce this one as well.
As busy as he is, Gervais has not appeared as a lead in a role since 2009’s The Invention of Lying.