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Ricky Gervais Joins Starry Cast of Animated ‘Blazing Samurai’

Ricky Gervais Joins Starry Cast of Animated 'Blazing Samurai'

Ex-Sony Animation czar Yair Landau (“Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs), who is now President and Founder of Mass Animation, is serving up another animated action-adventure throwback with help from “The Lion King” director Rob Minkoff and “Blazing Saddles” creator Mel Brooks.

READ MORE: Open Road Films Acquires Animated Saga ‘Blazing Samurai’

Minkoff is producing “Blazing Samurai” and assisting co-directors Chris Bailey (“Alvin And The Chipmunks”) and Mark Koetsier (“Kung Fu Panda,” “How To Train Your Dragon”) as they navigate a screenplay by Ed Stone and Nate Hopper. “Samurai” borrows heavily from Brooks’ seminal fish-out-of-water western, but instead of a wisecracking African American sheriff, the film’s new protagonist will take the shape of a dog named Hank (voiced by Michael Cera), who dreams of becoming a samurai warrior. 

Ricky Gervais is voicing villain Ika Chu, a sneaky bad cat with a plan to rid Kakamucho of its feline inhabitants. Decked out in fashionable “Fursace,” Ika Chu has an insatiable appetite for power. Samuel L. Jackson will voice ex-warrior cat Jimbo, who has a taste for catnip but teaches Hank ways of the samurai. The duo take off on a wild journey to save the town of Kakamucho. Mel Brooks himself voices Shogun, the town’s misguided leader; George Takei plays Ohga the enforcer for Ika Chu; Djimon Hounsou voices Sumo, the gentle giant; Sandra Tsing Loh plays a cranky grande dame; five-year-old America’s Got Talent breakout Heavenly Joy Jerkins is the feisty feline who is a natural warrior; and her over-protective mom is voiced by Michelle Yeoh

“We’ve assembled some extraordinarily strong comedic talent for the cast of this fresh, fun and irreverent animated family film,” said Minkoff. “From the artistic ambition to the East meets West style of story-telling, everyone involved in creating ‘Blazing Samurai’ is having a blast.”

“Blazing Samurai” will be released by Open Road Films stateside on August 4, 2017.

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