Ever since a live-action, 3D Yogi Bear movie was announced back in February this year, there hasn't really been any movement on the news front regarding it. However, fast forward to now and we may have our main cast in the form of Dan Aykroyd, Anna Faris and Justin Timberlake.
Aykroyd is in negotiations to voice the titular character in Yogi Bear, with Faris set to play a nature documentarian who follows the antics of Yogi in the fictional Jellystone Park. Timberlake is also in talks to join the project, possibly playing Yogi's sidekick, Boo-Boo. The film is being directed by Eric Brevig (Journey To The Center of the Earth), and produced by Donald De Line and Karen Rosenfelt as a live-action/CGI hybrid in the vein of Alvin and the Chipmunks and Garfield (aim high, why don't you?).
What's suspiciously absent from The Hollywood Reporter's article is the fact that the movie was supposedly being developed for 3D. When it was announced earlier this year, that was one of the points of discussion, as it increasingly has become with this slew of 3D movies as of late. However, with this latest news 3D wasn't mentioned - just live-action/CGI. So does that mean Yogi Bear will be regular ol' 2D after all? Or will it still fall in line with what seems like every second movie these days and jump out at us in three-dimensions?
As I said back in February, I don't think adapting Yogi Bear into a half-live-action feature film is the worst idea in the world, but it certainly has the potential to be real crap. More and more it's (sadly) sounding like the project will be in the vein of the aforementioned Alvin and the Chipmunks and Garfield, the latter of which features Aykroyd's Ghostbusters buddy, Bill Murray (didn't Murray warn you Dan? :P ). If Yogi Bear can improve on those movies it'll be a success... In a way...
Faris is a bit of a stale comedic actress, IMO, with only a couple of films of note in which she shines (Just Friends and Observe & Report). She recently lent her voice to a couple of other big-budget animated films, namely Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel. I've never seen why anyone puts Timberlake in movies - even when he's tried to be serious and really go for it, he's really paled in comparison to the talent around him (most notably in Black Snake Moan).
It's just a voice Timberlake will be lending to Yogi Bear, but still, couldn't they have gotten someone else? Will his name alone be enough to draw people? I think the target audience (read: kids) would see it regardless of who does the voices, so why not get a good, quality voice actor instead of going for a big (music star) name?
What do you think of the cast they've attached so far for the live-action/CGI Yogi Bear movie? Do you think they should adapt the classic cartoon to the big screen or leave it be?
Yogi Bear is hoped to start shooting this December, and has a planned release of sometime in 2011.