Seth MacFarlane had a pretty successful debut as a feature film director when the TV titan called the shots on the raunchy comedy Ted. That twisted coming-of-age tale about a man and his talking teddy bear scored a mostly positive critical reception (read our review) while breaking the bank at the box office ($218.8 million).
Despite using his involvement with one of the highest-grossing R-rated comedies of all-time as a principle selling point, MacFarlane's A Million Ways to Die in the West could not reach the bar that Ted set. The former proved to be a commercial flop with unfavorable review scores earlier this year - and thus, the Family Guy creator went from having a bright future in cinema to being in need of a comeback.
Luckily for him, his next movie will be a sequel to Ted, the aptly titled Ted 2, which is currently set for a June 2015 theatrical premiere. Mark Wahlberg is returning to star alongside his CGI thunder buddy for life, and he's being joined by some big names for this second installment. Amanda Seyfried will be playing John's (Wahlberg) new girlfriend (?) and a few weeks ago we learned that Morgan Freeman is portraying Ted's lawyer.
Now, we know of another respected thespian who has taken a part in Ted 2. MacFarlane himself revealed via Twitter that none other than Liam Neeson will be appearing in the film:
Yesterday Liam Neeson, today Morgan Freeman. Not a bad week for #Ted2.
— Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane) September 24, 2014
With only 140 characters to break the news, the director didn't dive into any details pertaining to Neeson's role, so it is unknown how substantial the Oscar nominee's character is. Given that the actor is currently filming A Monster Calls before jumping to Martin Scorsese's Silence (which is being prepped for a 2015 release), it's most likely that Neeson will have a short cameo as he tries to balance out a busy schedule. He may enjoy working with MacFarlane, but he can't be everywhere at once.
Fans will now turn the discussion to who Neeson will be playing in the film. Since MacFarlane loves to poke fun at pop culture in his work, it wouldn't be beyond him to include a riff on Neeson's tough guy action hero persona (though that might be too similar to his role in A Million Ways to Die in the West). Neeson's also made a name for himself in the mentor archetype (The Phantom Menace, Batman Begins), so he could have been brought on to dispel some wisdom on John and Ted as they look to move on towards the next stage of life.
Either way, MacFarlane is assembling a nice collection of talent in front of the camera as he looks to bounce back from his sophomore slump. The jury's still out on whether or not Ted 2 can join the ranks of the greatest comedy sequels, but at least the likes of Freeman and Neeson should provide some quality entertainment, if nothing else.
Ted 2 will be in theaters June 26, 2015.
Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisAgar90.
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