As soon as it was announced that How I Met Your Mother star Jason Segel wouldn’t return to co-write or star in the sequel to last year’s The Muppets, fans have wondered which human stars would share the screen with the likes of Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy. Of course, Muppet films have never been particularly reliant on their human casts (in fact, they typically only feature humans in supporting roles and cameos).

Nevertheless, Disney is forging ahead with the film’s sequel, described as a Europe-set caper in the vein of the 1981 adventure The Great Muppet Caper. Academy Award winner Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained) was initially in negotiations to join the cast as an Interpol inspector. However, it appears that the actor was unable to sign on due to scheduling conflicts, leaving an unlikely replacement to accept the role.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Modern Family star Ty Burrell has joined the cast of The Muppets sequel in the role vacated by Waltz. Considering the Emmy winner is the among the first stars to join the film’s human cast, Burrell’s character is expected to feature heavily into the plot. Perhaps his character will serve as the film’s primary antagonist, tracking the Muppets throughout Europe? Whatever the case may be, expect a slew of stars to appear in small roles throughout the film, this being a Muppet movie and all.

Now that we have our first casting announcement, the Muppets sequel appears well on its way to beginning production. Director James Bobin is returning to helm and co-write the film with the first film’s Nicholas Stoller, and Bret McKenzie (Flight of the Conchords) – who won an Academy Award for The Muppets’ original song “Man or Muppet” – has signed on to pen some more memorable tunes.

Do you think Burrell will fit the Muppets franchise as well as Segel and friends did? Let us know in the comments.

The Muppets 2 (not the official title) will begin shooting this winter. Stay tuned to Screen Rant for further details on the film, including its expected release date.

Source: THR