Ty Burrell, one of the stars of ABC's Modern Family, is set to join the cast of Disney's sequel to The Muppets as one of the movie’s human stars.
Christoph Waltz was in talks for the role, but the Austrian actor’s schedule prevented the studio from making a deal.
James Bobin, who directed the 2011 Muppets film, is returning to helm the follow-up and co-wrote the screenplay with Nicholas Stoller.
The adventure moves from Hollywood to Europe, and while the film is expected to have a slew of cameos -- as is the Muppets' movie tradition -- one of the key roles is an Interpol inspector, whom Burrell will portray. (Another notable character is a Russian femme fatale.)
The Muppets grossed $158 million worldwide and relaunched a movie franchise for the studio. It starred and was co-written by Jason Segel, but he is not returning for the sequel.
David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman, who produced The Muppets, are back to produce the sequel, which will shoot in London this winter.
Burrell has won a slew of awards for his comedy work in Modern Family, including an Emmy in 2011 for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series.
He recently wrapped voicing the lead role of Mr. Peabody in DreamWorks Animation's Mr. Peabody & Sherman, based on the classic 1950s/’60s characters that appeared as part of the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon shows. The movie will be released in November 2013.
He will shoot two indies in the new year -- The Skeleton Twins with Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig and the ensembler Switch -- and is developing a new show for ABC that he is writing and co-executive producing with his brother, Duncan. The comedy is based on the Burrells' childhood in Oregon.
He is repped by ICM Partners and attorney J. Franklin Stewart.