Cinema may not be dead, but when the critically reviled, barely more than 80-minute, CGI/live action mashup “Yogi Bear” arrived in theaters at the end of 2010 and earned more than $200 million, well, you could practially hear David Denby curled in the corner sobbing. Of course, a sequel was announced last year and now the wheels are turning, with a truly….odd choice being selected to rewrite and direct the thing.
Jay Chandrasekhar, best known as part of the Broken Lizard comedy troupe who have brought to the screen films like “Super Troopers,” “Club Dread” and “The Babymakers” (all of which he has directed) will now try and make kiddies laugh with “Yogi Bear 2.” No word yet on if he’ll include a “litre o’ cola” joke. We have no idea what drew Chandrasekhar — who has also done stints on TV with shows like “Arrested Development” and “Community” — to this project, but he hasn’t been above taking less-than-respectable paycheck fare before (hello, “The Dukes Of Hazzard“).
At any rate, it can’t be any worse with him behind the camera right? No word yet on if Dan Aykroyd and Justin Timberlake will reprise their roles, though if they’re replaced, we’re sure the kids won’t notice. But can they survive if Tom Cavanagh doesn’t come back? You might want to start preparing your children for such an inevitability now. Meanwhile, the initial draft of the script by Jeffrey Ventimilia and Joshua Sternin (“Surviving Christmas,” “The Tooth Fairy”) will hopefully get a substantial reworking. Maybe this entry will be at least a bit more absurd and surreal? Who knows, but we can guarantee it will be more Yogi Bear-y. And probably in 3D. [Deadline]