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Ricky Gervais to Play Mole in The Wind in the Willows
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British comic to star in 2012 movie remake
Ricky Gervais, the British comedian behind the hit sitcom The Office , will provide the voice of Mr Mole in the upcoming film remake of The Wind in the Willows. Director Ray Griggs said he had Gervais's comic talent in mind from the start.
In taking on the role, Gervais follows in the footsteps of fellow comedian Steve Coogan, who played Mole in the 1996 film, directed by Monty Python star Terry Jones.
It was not long after the news was announced that Gervais ended up in hot water, however. In his recent appearance hosting the Golden Globes, he incurred the displeasure of celebs as he alluded to gay rumours about Hollywood Scientologists and mocked the Johnny Depp-Angelina Jolie flop The Tourist . He also made digs at Charlie Sheen and Robert Downey, Jr, for their well-known substance abuse problems. Audience responses ranged from mild squirming in seats to booing. He finishing by offending Christians, closing the ceremony saying, "Thank you to God for making me an atheist."
He later defended his jokes after the Hollywood Foreign Press Association criticized his remarks as "unacceptable." Gervais said the Golden Globes knew what they were getting when they hired him. "I mustn't come out there as everyone's mate," he said. "That would be nauseating. I've got to come out there and I've got to roast them."
The Wind in the Willows: Release Date 2012
Gervais is the first cast member to be named for the new adaptation of Kenneth Grahame's classic novel. More actors are expected to be named early this year.
Ray Griggs, of Weta Workshop, the special effects company behind Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy, will direct the animated feature. Teaser trailers indicate an emphasis on the darker aspects of the story, although the casting of Gervais as Mole indicates it will retain the humour associated with the original story and other film versions.
Click here to visit the official Wind in the Willows (2012) website.