Dan Aykroyd, Justin Timberlake and Anna Faris Join Yogi Bear
by Ethan Anderton
November 5, 2009
EW.com just got a big casting scoop on the unnecessary adaptation of the classic Hanna-Barbera cartoon Yogi Bear, in addition to revealing a writer and a new director contrary to what we heard when the project was announced over a year ago. Eric Brevig (of Journey to the Center of the Earth previously) is directing a script from Brad Copeland ("Arrested Development", Wild Hogs) with Dan Aykroyd voicing the picnic basket stealing bear and Justin Timberlake taking on the role of Boo-Boo. Meanwhile, Anna Faris (seen in Observe and Report) will play a nature documentarian following Yogi and Boo-Boo for her next project.
While there's not much mentioned in the vein of conflict or plot for this film, I'm left wondering how and if Ranger Smith will fit into this story. The frustrated character was such a huge part of the original cartoon that I can't imagine them leaving him out. In addition, back in March there were rumblings of discussions to bring in B.J. Novak (of NBC's "The Office") to take on the role of the authoritative but bumbling ranger. However, at that point the supposed plot involved a character named "Sergio Bear" who seems like a sophisticated bear from Argentina, but is actually an average bear who has escaped from the Bronx Zoo in an effort to find a legendary goldmine hidden in Jellystone Park. But with a new writer and director, who knows what shape the project is taking.
Personally, while I find an adaptation like this wholly unnecessary and most likely completely lost on a generation that didn't grow up Hanna-Barbera cartoons like Yogi or even Tom & Jerry (which I'm sure we'll see get a contemporary update sooner than later). And while Dan Aykroyd is one hell of a choice to play Yogi Bear, Bill Murray was also inspired casting for Garfield and I hated that movie as much as the orange cat hates Mondays (and if you've seen Zombieland, you know Murray even hates it, too). We'll see exactly what the story is behind this film soon enough, and otherwise keep you posted on the tomfoolery to come.