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Andy Garcia, Bruno Mars and Broadway superstar Kristin Chenoweth (who’ll join Seth MacFarlane to close the Oscars on Sunday) are the first new names added to the vocal cast for the animated sequel Rio 2.
The casting was revealed on the movie’s official Facebook page, where it was confirmed that “the entire Rio cast” would be back for a second comedic adventure. That would be Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway and, likely, George Lopez, Leslie Mann and Jamie Foxx – providing everyone’s schedules are available. The Facebook page confirms a 2014 release for the animated feature, with IMDB posting an April 14 date. We’ll see if that sticks.
Original Rio director Carlos Saldanha (Ice Age) will return to helm the sequel, which reportedly will involve actions at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil (at least, that’s what was rumored a while back).
A sequel to Rio makes sense. Animated movies usually spawn second chapters, particularly when they earn Academy Award nominations (for Best Original Song), favorable reviews, and $484 million in worldwide ticket sales. It is interesting that the profile of the Rio leads – Hathaway and Eisenberg – has been considerably raised since they lent their voices to the first movie. Hathaway, in particular, is burning up Hollywood’s career ladder with turns in The Dark Knight Rises and Les Miserables, which should earn her a Best Supporting Actress Oscar this weekend. Will that bump up their asking prices? Or were they locked into sequels when they signed on for the original? Not that it matters. The colorful world of Rio should explode at the World Cup, spelling fun for families and animation junkies in 2014.