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Modern Family actor Ty Burrell is joining Disney’s sequel to The Muppets, filling a role once offered to Christoph Waltz.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the news late Friday, reporting that Burrell will star as an Interpol inspector. The studio also has to fill the female lead role of a Russian femme fatale.
Waltz, who appears in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, was in talks to take the role, but his schedule made it hard for him to reach a deal with Disney, notes Collider.
James Bobin, who directed the 2011 hit The Muppets will be returning for the sequel. He co-wrote the script with Nicholas Stoller. Producers David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman will also be returning.
The Muppets grossed $158 million million worldwide and starred Amy Adams and Jason Segel, who co-wrote the film. Segel will not return for the sequel.
The Muppets sequel moves the action to Europe and will start production in London soon. Disney is set to release the film on Dec. 20, 2013.
Aside from his Emmy-winning role on ABC’s Modern Family, Burrell has recently finished work on Dreamworks Animation’s Mr. Peabody & Sherman which will be out in November 2013. He also has two indie comedies in the works, including Kristen Wiig’s The Skeleton Hunters and Switch.