Well here’s something unexpected. Jason Segel long ago revealed that he wouldn’t be returning for the sequel to 2011’s The Muppets, so it was assumed that Disney would be casting someone else to be the film’s “human lead” opposite the titular Muppets. Ty Burrell was recently cast as the Europe-set film’s antagonist, a lazy Interpol inspector, but Heat Vision now reports that funnyman Ricky Gervais has been cast as the human lead in The Muppets 2.
Details on the role are being kept under wraps, but I can’t imagine it having much similarity to the character played by Segel; Gervais isn’t exactly known for being the sweet, sentimental type. Nicholas Stoller co-wrote the script with James Bobin, who returns to direct. Production is set to begin in January in London, so expect a slew of casting/cameo news in the coming months. The untitled sequel to The Muppets is set for release on December 20, 2013.