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Though Jeremy Renner and Jennifer Lopez have been attached to a fourth Ice Age film for months now, 20th Century Fox made their involvement in the animated franchise official with a release that also confirms the participation of a few other major talents.
Naturally, the primary Ice Age vocal cast – Ray Romano, Denis Leary, Queen Latifah and John Leguizamo – are returning for the sequel, which will be subtitled Continental Drift. Seann William Scott and Josh Peck also are returning as possums Crash and Eddie, while Chris Wedge once again will voice the acorn-hoarding Scrat.
As was previously reported, Renner will lend his voice to a new character named Gutt, whom the studio is describing as “a self-styled master of the high seas who’s determined to make Manny, Sid and Diego part of his crew.” As for American Idol judge Lopez, she’ll play Shira, a sabre-toothed tigeress who falls for Leary’s surly Diego.
Renner and Lopez aren’t the only names jumping on board the Ice Age bandwagon, though. Continental Drift directors Steve Martino and Michael Thurmeier have recruited Wanda Sykes to voice Granny, Sid’s stowaway; Aziz Ansari to voice Squint, a prehistoric rabbit who believes he’s tougher than he actually is; Keke Palmer to play Peaches, daughter to Manny and Ellie; and and hip-hop star Drake to voice Ethan, a “handsome young woolly mammoth who has his eye on Peaches.” And the Ice Age family grows even further with the inclusion of speaking parts for Glee's Heather Morris, Joy Behar, Nicki Minaj, Book of Mormon star Josh Gad, Nick Frost, Kunal Nayyar, Alain Chabat and J.B. Smoove.
The Ice Age franchise is a moneymaker for Fox, having earned $568.2 million domestically. Continental Drift opens in 2D and 3D on July 13, 2012.