Over a year ago we reported that Warner Bros. would be adapting Yogi Bear for the big-screen using a mix of live-action and CG animation. Yesterday official word came that actor/comedian T.J. Miller has been offered the role of Ranger Jones. Miller will co-star alongside the already cast Anna Faris, with Dan Aykroyd voicing the title character Yogi the Bear, and Justin Timberlake voicing his sidekick BooBoo.
Miller served as the comic relief in Cloverfield, portraying the camera-man/narrator. You may also recognize him as one of the many "doofuses" in Mike Judge's Extract, playing the metal head Rory.
After Miller had already auditioned twice for producers of Yogi Bear, he enlisted the help of filmmaker Jordan Vogt-Roberts, to make an "audition reel" sort of as a joke, that would hopefully help seal the deal. His tongue-in-cheek reel showed him improvising with a real live bear. After the reel made it all the way to Barry M. Meyer, chairman of Warner Bros. Miller was officially offered the role! How awesome is that?!
Miller told The Apiary:
I'm excited about this role because they saw the reel and appreciated what a bizarre dude I am.
Bizzare? I'd add ballsy to the resume as well. Miller fed the bear marshmallows by holding the treat in his teeth while the animal handler used a long wooden stick. Miller also fed the bear lines... literally. Miller is great in the reel, the bear's comic timing is superb.
As for the concept and execution? He'll be leaving for New Zealand on Friday to begin shooting with director Eric Brevig (Journey to the Center of the Earth). Mission accomplished.
Check out the "Audition Reel" and let us know what you think of T.J. Miller taking on the role of Ranger Jones.